Most of the folks around Jesus had it pretty tough. The government and the religious establishment tag-teamed to make sure most were poor and stayed that way. The religious leaders offered an extra put-down: sinners were not welcome; the majority did without.
It is no surprise then, that Jesus’ teaching that the law of love which lifts up over-rides all laws made to put folks down, caused a stir. And when he taught through his actions-keeping company with sinners-well, that aroused those who were hungry themselves for love and acceptance.
When we follow Jesus, we are called to similarly stir things up by teaching with our words and actions, that love is our guiding principle. Many congregations support programs to feed the poor and honestly try to welcome all people, as our signs say. But if what we are doing is not stirring up the people, let’s try a little more tenderness. Add until the desired effect is achieved and everyone around us is ready to proclaim the kingdom of God.
Healing Lord, stir up my heart with a grace I find surprising! And let your love spill out in everything I do and say. May I be disturb the complacency that keeps peace away. Amen. — EB