Lost or Rejected?
Have you ever contemplated going to church on a Sunday morning and thought your Saturday night, or last week, or whatever, leaves you unworthy? “I don’t have any business going to church after what I’ve done.” Or perhaps you actually made it to church and find yourself sitting there thinking that you would be turned out if they knew about . . .
Paul wants us to know that is precisely the opposite of God’s attitude toward us! “The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners — of whom I am the foremost.” (1 Tim 1:15, click here for the full passage) Jesus came not to pat the backs of the worthy but to save sinners! There is no Saturday night, no bad week, not even a misspent life that renders us unworthy to come to Jesus!
As human beings, we spend a lot of time worrying about who’s “in” and who’s “out.” So we create all sorts of rules, spoken and silent, by which we judge ourselves and others to be either in or out. What bumper stickers are on your car? Republican or Democrat? A dirty, smelly ragamuffin, or a pompous, overdressed peacock?
Sunday’s Gospel from Luke (click here to read it) reminds us that far from being concerned with who is “in or “out”, Jesus is concerned about the lost. That’s where the father’s concern lies, so if we want to be his children, then that is where our concern should lay. What is worthy of celebration? When the lost are found!
So next time you find yourself wondering if you are worthy, wondering if God could really love you, remember that the answer is “YES!”, then get yourself out of bed and come to church! Nothing brings a greater celebration in heaven than a lost one (perhaps you!) is found!
Are you more likely to find yourself judging yourself or others? What would God say?
This column appeared in the September 11, 2022 edition of St. John’s eNews. Click here for the complete issue.
If you are reading this at a different time, you may click here for the current eNews.