After this he went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax booth. And he said to him, “Follow me.” And leaving everything, he rose and followed him.
And Levi made him a great feast in his house, and there was a large company of tax collectors and others reclining at table with them. And the Pharisees and their scribes grumbled at his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” And Jesus answered them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” Luke 5:27-32
I spent my afternoon well into the evening at sheep camp. I fed a little lamb whose mother had rejected him, participated in several ceremonies and was invited to a feast. We had fry bread and lamb stew in the hogan. It was a moving, spiritual time, a time of healing and community. We were people from far and wide and yet within we were welcome and at home.
one of Jesus' followers was a tax collector and he made a feast for him. He invited his friends and family to join the feast and made everyone at home. The religious authorities criticized and complained against Jesus for hanging out with folks they didn't approve of. They didn't understand that God's love calls us to make everyone family and to see no one as an enemy. God blesses those who bless others and offer everyone a place at the table.
Today, I ask God to help me have an open heart and an open spirit, making everyone welcome. May we all, after so many days of anxiety and fear, trust God to restore us as a people all related, all welcome. May relationships be renewed as we welcome one another to the feast that the Creator has set for us all.