Jesus Eats With Sinners

Jesus Eats With Sinners

Are you a sinner?

For many people, it’s hard to admit that we sin, much less that we sin a lot, every day. But if you’re Lutheran, you’re probably familiar with this line from our Liturgy, “I, a poor miserable sinner, confess unto you all my sins and iniquities”. We own it. We know that we are sinners and we welcome other sinners!

However, there are many in this world who believe that “being a good person” is enough. That doing good deeds, becoming a “better version” of oneself is all that’s needed. The focus becomes all about us and doing works rather than believing in the saving work of Christ Jesus. We become like sheep that don’t listen to the shepherd but wander our own way.

And this is where it gets dangerous. When focused on acts, rather than faith, we make judgements about self and others that we are wholly unqualified to do. As Jesus explained in the today’s Gospel lesson, He rejoices over that lost sheep, who full of humility and acknowledging his sin, seeks God and His favor.

Our joy is not in our works and deeds but in His work on the cross, His forgiveness of sins and His gift of eternal life.

Thanks be to God for His love of broken and lost sinners!

Here is today’s sermon text from Luke 15:

The Parable of the Lost Sheep
Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”

So he told them this parable: “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.

The Parable of the Lost Coin

“Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ 10 Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

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Announcements

Voters Meeting: The next one is scheduled for September 18th at 3:30 via Zoom.

Vacation: Pastor Jenson is taking a well-deserved, extended vacation until September 18th. If a need arises, please contact one of the Deacons (Loyd Harris, Sean Poe, Doug Helwig, Andrew Berg, and Bruce Selin). Their contact information is printed in the bulletin and in our church directory.

Bible Study: Our midweek Bible study is on hiatus. Sunday morning Bible study starts at 10 am.

Donations: Even during the pandemic and with a decline in attendance, the expenses continue. If you wish to make a donation please mail them to the St. James post office box as that is a secure location. You may also donate online.

Prayer requests. Bring your prayer requests to Pastor Jenson, Deacon Poe, or Loyd Harris (bulletin typist). They will be printed in the bulletin and prayed in the Sunday service. The deadline is Tuesday. Remember to obtain permission if you bring a prayer request on behalf of another person.

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