Mothers’ Union Devotion Wednesday 12th January 2022
And as he sat at dinner in Levi’s house, many tax-collectors and sinners were also sitting with Jesus and his disciples—for there were many who followed him. When the scribes of the Pharisees saw that he was eating with sinners and tax-collectors, they said to his disciples, ‘Why does he eat with tax-collectors and sinners?’ Mark 2. 13-16
I do not know about you but whenever I try to picture this dinner, I imagine that it was lively and fun, with the best food and wine, and the best entertainment. Not because, only those who are considered sinners and rule breakers can have fun. Not because fun is something to be avoided if you are trying to be good and follow Jesus’ commandments. Not even simply because of the delicious food and drink. I think this dinner would have been fun because it was a place of acceptance. A place where all were welcome. A place where nobody cared where you came from, what you did for a living, how well you followed the expectations of ‘polite society.’ A place where you could be accepted simply for who you are. A place where you could feel at home is a place where you can experience fun. A place where you can relax and enjoy the company of those who do not judge you.
Throughout history various forms of ghettos have arisen. Some have been enforced by society on those who are considered outsiders. Some have evolved naturally, simply because of the judgement of society which makes prejudiced decisions about who is an outsider, whose background, taste, or profession is unacceptable. Some have arisen, I am sad to say, because of the attitude of some in the Church. In our desire to grasp the teachings of the Bible, we have sometimes forgotten to love our neighbours as ourselves.
Luckily for us we live in an era when many barriers have been broken down. A time when many individuals are no longer content to remain hidden in ghettos. A time when people who have been ostracised, marginalised, have found the confidence to stand up and say – look at us we are here, we are who we are and there is nothing wrong with us. We are all equal. Our response to all those brave enough to make their voices heard is to say. Yes, you are here. Yes, you are equal and most importantly of all Yes, we would like to accept your invitation to join in with your social occasions, your dinners, your parties. Because we know that it is here, we will find the fun that comes from a sense of non-judgemental belonging and total acceptance.
With all my love and prayers