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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Today’s Reading | Mark 2:13–22

Jesus went out again beside the sea; the whole crowd gathered around him, and he taught them. As he was walking along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him.

And as he sat at dinner in Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were also sitting with Jesus and his disciples—for there were many who followed him. When the scribes of the Pharisees saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, they said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” When Jesus heard this, he said to them, “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.”

Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting; and people came and said to him, “Why do John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” Jesus said to them, “The wedding guests cannot fast while the bridegroom is with them, can they? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast on that day.

“No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old cloak; otherwise, the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost, and so are the skins; but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins.” (NRSV)

Text for this reflection | Mark 2:16–17


“When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: ‘Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ On hearing this, Jesus said to them, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.’”

This verse speaks so much to the simple truth of God. Sickness can be applied loosely to so much in our lives. Yes, there are the times I am really physically sick, but more challenging are the times when sickness comes to me during times of trouble and confusion. The thing that I find I struggle with most, sometimes, is that ability to let go of uncertainty. I am by nature a little bit of a worrier. Growing up I used to be so much of a people pleaser that at times it exhausted me and did make me “sick.” I remember one time in high school I over thought something so much, something so silly now that I look back on it, that I managed to get a headache. I was stressing over getting a good seat at our high school basketball state championship game at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, which in high school, sadly, felt like the biggest deal in the whole world. I was “unhealthy” then, and I still have “unhealthy” moments in my life now, but God comes to comfort us when we are at are best and our worst. God knows our sins, yet God sits at that table with us, wanting to eat with us and be with us through it all.

As this new year is underway, I hope we all can approach God’s table never too ashamed to sit down with God and let him be our doctor.


Lord, help me day by day to always understand the power of your love, so in times of great sickness I might know that I may always call on you. Amen.

Written by Ashley
Elskus, Special Events and Membership Coordinator, Center for Life and Learning

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