Dear friends in Christ,
The daily office Gospel reading for today has given me a much-needed reminder. From Luke 5, “Jesus answered, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I have come to call not the righteous but sinners to repentance.'”
There are lots of ways to think about our church and its purpose. I often think of us as a community of disciples. Sometimes we might like to think of the church as a refuge. For most of us, church is a holy place we visit to worship God and to be nourished by the sacraments. But one of my favorite images of the church is a hospital for sinners.
As I mentioned last week, we are all sinners and we all need saving. A medical hospital saves lives, and a church is a hospital that saves souls. To be clear, Jesus Christ is the one who saves souls, but it is in the church where we are reminded to repent and to follow our Savior.
It’s tempting in our divided age to cast aside people who we don’t like. But we Christians are nurses in the hospital for souls. Our task is to love our neighbors. Our task is to invite people into a relationship with Jesus.
I am grateful that Jesus loves and redeems me, despite all my sins. And as I look around, I see lots of people who are potentially, like me, patients in the hospital for sinners.
Let us all give thanks that our God reaches out to the lost, for we are all lost at times. And let us all look for the lost, the least, and the last. For they are the special concern of Jesus Christ.
Icon from Sainte-Chapelle, Paris, via flickr.
Today’s Flash Sale: A Journey with Luke
A masterful storyteller with the compassion of a physician, Luke paints a picture of Jesus as healer, full of mercy, forgiveness, and love. The Gospel of Luke features the lovely Magnificat, Mary’s love song to God, and the nativity story heard in Christmas pageants around the world. Luke includes three parables not heard in any other gospel: the prodigal son, the good Samaritan, and the unjust judge. Luke, also believed to be the author of the book of Acts, emphasizes prayer as central to the life of faith.
Join the journey with Luke with fifty days of scripture readings, meditations, and prayers written by dynamic spiritual leaders from around the world. A Journey with Luke is part of a series of fifty-day Bible studies and is an extension of The Bible Challenge, a global initiative to encourage daily engagement with the Word of God.
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