Sermon Introduction –
Jesus was criticized for the company he kept, but his mission was to embrace the ones the world rejects. What does this teach us about God? How might this change how we do ministry in the world?
Introduction to this week’s readings –
Though Jesus was a devout Jew who practiced his faith, he was criticized for eating with tax collectors and sinners—the religiously nonobservant. Jesus criticizes the self-righteous and reminds us that mercy is to be at the heart of our religious practices. God continues to be made known in those on the margins of society, like Matthew the tax collector and the hemorrhaging woman. As we gather each Lord’s day we receive the healing that makes us well and sends us forth to be signs of God’s mercy for the world.
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