Getting Your Attention
I grew up in what was then a much smaller high school. You were known more by the group you associated with than by anything else. Nerds, jocks, music geeks, farmers, druggies, cheerleaders…before someone even tried to get to know you; they would make up their mind about you simply because of who you hung out with. In a subculture based predominantly on peer pressure…it was a powerful force.
My mom was a junior high teacher in the same school district; she pretty much knew all the students. When I, or my brothers, would start talking bad about someone in school…especially if we pigeonholed them in a certain group that we saw negatively…she was always quick to defend them. She’d find something positive to say about them and “strongly encouraged” us to see them in a different light and give them a chance.
For my mom those were more than just words…She lived them out daily. That integrity always got my attention.
Lepers, tax collectors, adulterers, sinners, riffraff…Jesus associated with sinners. This always troubled the “good religious” people. And it’s something that followed him all of his life…all the way to the very end. A criminal on the next cross over says, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus replies, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:42-43, NRSV).
Jesus died the way he lived. And that integrity should get our attention as well! Click here to listen to more (March 1 sermon).
Your partner on the journey,