We are half way through lent. Wow, so much has changed in 20 days. For the rest of this devotion we will focus on preparing ourselves for Easter. We will spend a good bit of time concentrating on the new covenant and Christ’s journey hear on earth before his crucifixion. Many of us are quarantined now and have less access to healthy resources. Personally, as I learn new things through the healthcare circles that impacts the fight against COVID-19, I will share these.

Today, let’s talk about sitting down for a meal with Jesus. Remember, back to previous devotions the importance of having a meal together to symbolize the peace relationship between God and his children. Moses and his elders had a meal with God on the mountaintop, the Hebrew children were called to share the “bread of presence” with the priest in the tabernacle to represent this peace symbol. Now, Christ himself is walking among earth with man and chooses to sit down and break bread with the common man. Of course, he ate daily with his disciples and we many interesting events happened surrounding these meals. But let’s focus on Jesus sitting down with the sinners to share a good meal. Let’s take a look at Mark 2:13-17.

He went out again beside the sea, and all the crowd was coming to him, and he was teaching them. 14 And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him.

 And as he reclined at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners were reclining with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. 16 And the scribes of[a] the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to his disciples, “Why does he eat[b] with tax collectors and sinners?” 17 And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” Mark 2:13-17

David Crawford, from “Jesus Eats with Sinners: A Communion Meditation on Mark 2.13-17,” Leaven: Vol. 3: Iss. 3, Article 10, states, “… the New Testament was replete with detailed advice on how to conduct a socially correct dinner party: the host should provide suitable food and wine, and should invite guests of his own status and culture, the most eminent seated closest to himself. Though Nazareth was less than a thriving metropolis, even by Galilean standards, still it is unlikely that Jesus was ignorant of the rules. And yet the truth of the matter is that Jesus ate with tax collectors and sinners.

As I contemplate the current times, I am reminded that many of us are feeling very isolated right now. Our own national and local governments are asking us to stay away and separate ourselves from other human beings. This is going to take a toll on us. It is possible that we may be tempted to see others in a different light, exposed and not exposed, positive or not positive, febrile not febrile. Remember those contagious lepers during Jesus’s days? It’s only human nature to think of others differently than ourselves. But we are called to a higher calling. We are called to live as Christ lived while on earth . We are all notorious sinners of one kind or another. If Jesus would sit at our table and dine with us, then we must continue to do this for others too.

Today’s song of contemplation is Love Like This by Lauren Daigle. See a few lyrics attached below. What have I done to deserve love like this?

When I am a wasteland
You are the water
When I am the winter
You are the fire that burns

When I am a long night
You are the sunrise
When I am a desert
You are the river that turns
To find me

What have I done to deserve love like this?
What have I done to deserve love like this?