“Just so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” vs. 10
Jesus found great joy in his associations with sinners and so do we! In fact, it’s a well-known fact that sinners are a lot more fun than righteous folk. With the righteous we always have to be on our toes with regard to what we say or do. But sinners really don’t care–we can be ourselves and find total acceptance. There’s nothing to hide or fear. And as we let down our guards in conversation we’ll hear the most amazing tales of depravity and redemption, of being lost and found. In our little Sinners Anonymous groups (because that’s what they are) we learn to tell the truth and to listen without judgement, and in the process we are bound together in unbelievable ways. The very best stories will be the ones that describe the joy of being found, of finally discovering that the authentic person who lives deep inside each of us doesn’t need to stay hidden. As our true selves emerge in that context of love they are reunited with the Divine Presence and restored by the promises of forgiveness and hope. Some of us are blessed to belong to congregations that fit this 12 Step description, and we cherish our weekly experiences with fellow Non-Pretenders. Joy abounds and hugs are genuine as we gather with Jesus at his Table–and there’s never a question about whether we belong.
Thought for the Day: Why do people leave congregations when their lives get messed up?