Scripture: Lectionary 223. Feb.25. 2012. Isaiah 58:9-14. Psalm 86:1-2.3-4.5-6. Luke 5:27-32
Reversal, renewal, and compassion are put before us this day. The reversal is seen in the fact that Levi invites Jesus to a dinner and others come who do not meet the standards of the religious minded lawyers of the Law. Then Jesus invites the sinners, the unrighteous, and those who are spiritually sick. They have need of a doctor and Jesus is that healer and savior for the friends of Levi. Renewal is seen in the continuing message of Isaiah who keeps telling us to DO God’s will and not just think and pray about it. He spells out for us what that is so we need not ask that interminable question what is God’s will for me. His is an outgoing spirituality not merely looking inwardly at our sinfulness. By actually doing good to our neighbor and loving our enemies we eradicate our inward and hidden sins. We have started Lent with enthusiasm and some practices and this start is half of the Lenten journey. (Well begun is half done!).
Jesus loves all of us. This is shown in the calling of Levi who represents us before we really loved and experienced Jesus as the most important person in our lives. Levi shows us how much we are loved when he responds to the call of Jesus. No wonder he throws a party and invites those who are like himself to it. Some were very worldly or impure; others were cheaters and liars. But they were called. Some were just waiting to be called. Levi broke through by answering the call of Jesus and we are to do that during this Lent.
Jesus is looking for an openness of heart and a desire to change and to follow him in the calls we receive through others. Jesus is our best counselor and doctor who makes us whole again in the image and likeness of God. He whispers in our ears and says, “The healthy do not need a doctor, sick people do.”
This Lenten season offers us the opportunity to change. The first step is to slow down and to listen to the living voice of Jesus beckoning us: “Come follow me.! Amen.”