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The Forward Day by Day Meditation for October 3, 2018

We post a Forward Day by Day Meditation for every day of the year - and we invite you to consider them and talk about them here. If you'd like to comment, you can log in to Disqus with your Facebook, Twitter, or Google account; just click "Login," or the appropriate logo below. Or, you can sign up for a Disqus account; just use the entry form below, or click the "D" logo to start the process. You can find the past week's Meditations in the box at right (or below, for mobile users), or search for previous entries on the Archives page.

WEDNESDAY, October 3

Luke 5:29-32 Then Levi gave a great banquet for him in his house; and there was a large crowd of tax collectors and others sitting at the table with them. The Pharisees and their scribes were complaining to his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus answered, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I have come to call not the righteous but sinners to repentance.”

As in our own context, tax collectors in ancient Judea get no respect. Seen as traitors, tax collectors in Jesus’ context—especially those who are Jews—are working for the Romans. Their communities feel that they are collaborating with the Roman occupation. The Pharisees lump tax collectors with the rest of the “sinners,” expressing their disdain for this deeply despised occupation.

Whereas the Pharisees shun tax collectors like Levi as sinners, Jesus extends forgiveness of sins and an invitation into a beloved community; rather than punishment and shame, Jesus offers healing. Levi’s banquet is a foretaste of the kingdom’s great feast, where tax collectors and other “sinners” will eat and drink with Jesus. 

MOVING FORWARD: Read over today’s gospel lesson. Who do you most identify with in this story? 

PRAY for the Diocese of Igbomina (Nigeria) 

Ps 101, 109:1-4(5-19)20-30 * 119:121-144 | Hosea 4:11-19 | Acts 21:15-26 | Luke 5:27-39

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