JESUS RECEIVED, BLESSED, ate with, and even commended many of these sinners [tax collectors, the religiously unobservant, prostitutes, and other “obvious” sinners] against the “upstanding” of the day. He touched, healed, and raised many of the unclean. In sum, he was Light to those who dwelled in the shadows of societal isolation. He regarded those on society’s margins as personsand treated them as God’s own children.
During Lent we may vow to identify and repent of the ways we have helped deepen the shadows or just hidden our faces from those who dwell there. We may determine to search the dark corners of our families, workplaces, churches, and towns, in hopes of bringing light, revealing the faces of those easily ignored. We may seek ways to go to the margins to find some more of the ones he loved so much and if we do, we may find Jesus there with them.
If we make such courageous gestures we will be strengthened and guided by remembering the time and ways in which we ourselves, in dark and lonely times, were graciously sought and found by Jesus. HIs continual coming to us is our abiding invitation to be agents of his merciful seeking in the world.
-Thomas R. Steagald
Shadows, Darkness, and Dawn
From pages 64-65 of Shadows, Darkness, and Dawn: A Lenten Journey with Jesus by Thomas R. Steagald. Copyright © 2010 by Thomas R. Steagald. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.
When have you experienced or shared the mercy of Christ? Share your thoughts.
Today’s Scripture Reading
No distrust made Abraham waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, being fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.
Romans 4:20-21, NRSV
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