September 19, 2015, Mark 2:13-17
Prayer for Illumination
Living God, open my heart, mind, and body to experience you in this reading of scripture, that in experiencing you I might grow into someone who brings you honor. Amen.
13 Jesus went out again beside the lake; the whole crowd gathered around him, and he taught them. 14As 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.
15 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. 16When 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?’ 17When 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.’
Again in today’s reading Christ’s ministry includes people no one else likes. Today it is a tax collector. As an exercise, when you imagine this person in the story, try to avoid picturing an IRS agent. Instead, picture a loan shark or a predatory lender. Imagine someone who takes advantage of others.
What would you say if your family member brought someone like that to live with you?
How would that make you feel?
If you’re participating in these daily readings through Facebook, comment to this post with your answer to this question:
Tax Collectors are kind of scoundrels in this story’s context. Who might be an analogous character to Levi from famous movies, TV shows, or books?
Opportunity for Action
Do some math to figure out which is greater in your family, the money set aside for taxes each month, or the sum of your tithe (church giving) and benevolent giving (charity) you give in a month.
Offer your own prayer or simply close your time of reflection with the Lord’s Prayer spoken aloud.