Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Notes to the Lord:Riffraff Like Me

Mark 2

Later Jesus and his disciples were at home having supper with a collection of disreputable guests. Unlikely as it seems, more than a few of them had become followers.

Lord Jesus--Very early the fractures between you and the religious establishment were evident.  The scholars had a problem with your power to heal.   And you were not playing by the rules as they saw it. Right now I am wondering which group do I fall in with?  Am I in the riffraff group of tax collectors, thieves and street people?  Or am I in the religious leaders group...nose in the air, better than the rest of you heathens...group.

Upfront and Personal--You know me Lord, better than I know myself...you have taught and re-taught me the Jesus Prayer.  "Lord Jesus Christ, son of God, have mercy on me a sinner." The funny part is at times I am in both groups...and I am left with this simple prayer...I have come to say it often.  It calms my anxious heart.  It reminds me of who I am:  a sinner saved by your amazing grace.  It keeps me from feeling comfortable with the in crowd when seen as a leader in my faith community.  Why?  Because you know that I have to claim your mercy more times than not.  

So I say this simple prayer sometimes over and over in my heart as I breath in and out...somehow the breathe of the Spirit has entrance as I bring the camera lens back into focus.  When no one else is paying attention, there is time to repeat as I breath in and out this mental accent to the reality of who I am and who you are.

The religion scholars and Pharisees saw him keeping this kind of company and lit into his disciples: “What kind of example is this, acting cozy with the riffraff?” [2.17] Jesus, overhearing, shot back, “Who needs a doctor: the healthy or the sick? I’m here inviting the sin-sick, not the spiritually-fit.”

Lord Jesus--The ironic part of this little vignette of grace is that if only these leaders who thought they knew so much would have admitted their need you would have turned around with open arms and touched them at the point of their need. Their unwillingness to submit themselves to your care left them at odds with the Lord of Glory.   If they could have only seen the truth of the human condition...we are all riffraff in need of a Savior who can  make sense of our need.

So that leaves me right about where I started with a simple prayer...Lord Jesus Christ, son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.  Use this coming day as you see fit.

Peterson, Eugene H. (2006-06-15). The Message Remix 2.0: The Bible In contemporary Language (p. 1794). NavPress. Kindle Edition. 

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