Wednesday, July 15, 2009
And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” Mark2:17
When we were all young, many aspired to be doctors. It seemed like a noble profession. In the fifties, girls grew up to be nurses and boys became doctors. Life is much more complicated and fluid now. The roles we have are often multiple and unrecognizable to our forbears. And yet, we prize doctors today, as we did many generations ago.
One of the hardest things about moving is changing doctors. Our health insurance provider insists on a primary care physician, who will send to specialist as needed. But how do you chose a doctor, one who will treat you like a person and have great skills and professional reputation? We rely on doctors a lot. And it would seem that Jesus understood the critical role of doctors and liken his presence to the call for a doctor. When someone is sick, then and now, we think of calling a doctor, hoping that doctor will find a cure for what ails us.
The Pharisees criticized Jesus for sitting with sinners, and Jesus tells them that it is with them that he belongs. The religious, the righteous and those who are well don't need him. These religious leaders could not respond that they needed him too, as they were sinners like the others. Their culture and pride of place kept them from being honest about their need. We are no different today. One group criticizes another, thinking the other sinners, while no group is willing to admit their need of a savior. May we all today admit our need, knowing that Jesus is coming to sit with us. Jesus is coming to mingle with the lowlifes and the failures, the frightened and the broken, the isolated and rejected - Jesus is coming to sit with those in need. The doctor will be right with you.
Dear God, you made us in your image
and we squash your likeness so we do not acknowledge our brokenness.
Come among us today and sit with all of us sinners.
Make us glad in our failures and your healing.
Help us to let go of pride and set aside our false righteousness.
We are broken people all, and we need you today.