and the sinners were reclining with Jesus
"reclining with," it says in Matthew.
Jesus was just chillin' at the table, and the sinners and tax collectors rolled on through and felt like vibing right back with him. And so they did.
He loved them.
He knew the sinners. He loved the sinners. He didn't agree with the sinners, but damn, did he love them.
I ponder this as I think on the circles I run in, the circles I get the most brotherly love through. It's often with unbelievers. The drug dealers and the drug doers. It's often with non-walking believers, trying so hard to find the arms of intimacy in dark places which usually end up as another one night stand. It's often with people who have a sense of God, who want to believe in God, but – like where I once was – did not wrestle with Jesus' ultimate sayings, ultimate historicity, and ultimate truth. Those who have not yet delved into a more academic head study of God and his Word. Those who have not yet seen the vast multitude of scholarly biblical works, the beauty of theology, this "map" that C.S. Lewis calls it. It is our map.
Curses. C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity is so good. When God dumped me overnight into Andrew Keegan's apartment, I left a copy of it there for him.
I need to reread it. It heartens me so.
Damn, are we loved.