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Call to a table of connection and belonging

Jesus' calling of the tax collector Matthew consoled me after I was mailed a “Traffic Violation Document” that showed my car entering an intersection just as a yellow light turned red.

Call to a table of connection and belonging

The Pharisees...said to his disciples, “why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” But when [Jesus] heard this, he said, “those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.” Matthew 9:11,12,13

Jesus' calling of the tax collector Matthew consoled me after I was mailed a “Traffic Violation Document” that showed my car entering an intersection just as a yellow light turned red. I paid the stiff fine but paid even more in my sense of shame. Raised very strictly, I can be like the Pharisees in my attitude to people who break rules. I tried to picture Jesus calling me, not because of my righteousness, but because of my wrongdoing. I've tried to picture Jesus calling me to a table of connection and belonging; inviting me to follow him-especially follow him in being merciful. I have tried since then to consider those whom I have judged wrongly with more mercy, picturing them at the table with us. Jesus, deepen our mercy by showing us that we are all at your table.
-- Patricia Livingston

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