August 20, 2009

Scum Scum Scum...Go Back From Where You Come!

Get in your car. Get out on the main road near your house. Look around (keeping your eyes on the road, of course). As you set out ask the Lord to do this: "Lord, open my eyes to where the 'scum' hang out."

In Mark 2, immediately after Jesus has called Matthew, "Come and be my disciple", Matthew decides to throw a party at his house. He was a tax collector. He hung out with other tax collectors. He also hung out with "many other notorious sinners". And apparently, they were "scum". They were all invited! And so was Jesus. Jesus got invited to the keg party. And He went. This evidently didn't go over very well with the uptight, high-strung Pharisees. Mark actually describes them as the "teachers of the religious law". They were Law Men (enter Western music & tumbleweeds). They were self-proclaimed finger-pointing judges. And they weren't going to let anyone off the hook.

The Pharisees asked the disciples, "Why does he eat with such scum?"

Don't you want to just punch them in the face? Hard!
Who do they think they are calling other people scum? Booze hounds maybe. But scum? Come on.

But let's ask the question: If you and I never go to the people who are in need of Christ - if we never intentionally love and touch and reach out to those who are truly in need of a Savior - aren't we acknowledging the Pharisees' claims? Aren't we calling them "scum" without ever opening our mouths?

"When Jesus heard this, He told them, 'Healthy people don't need a doctor - sick people do. I have come to call sinners, not those who think they are already good enough."

If you choose to take that drive - and pray that prayer - you better pray something else first: "Lord give me the heart to GO to those who desperately need you!" And if we're being honest, you don't really have to get in the car. Just walk up & down your street. Talk to your neighbors. They're there - waiting to be acknowledged and loved. Waiting to know that they're worth something. Waiting. Waiting for you to quit walking by with your head down and say, "How's it going?" Waiting on an invitation to that block party (that you should be planning right now). Waiting for someone they barely know to show up and say, "Hey, we made some cookies and thought you'd like some!" Who wouldn't want homemade Toll House?

Will we risk our reputation? Interrupt our busy schedules?
Will we set the table for the "uninvited"?

Will we eat with scum?

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