Fourth Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 6
June 16, 2013
I Kings 21:1-21a Psalm 5:1-8
Galatians 2:15-21 St. Luke 7:36—8: onnday of 3
Who is in and who is out? Often we categorize people by whether they are in or out. Are they part of the cool, acceptable crowd? Or are they out?
The Gospel today deals with those in and those out. Those who are in are often very comfortable with their status. They have no fears. The Pharisee’s were part of the in crowd in the Jewish world that Jesus lived in. Women who were sinners on the other hand were definitely on the outside. They were looked down on. They were unappreciated. They had nothing worthwhile to offer society or those around them.
It seems like in our society today everyone needs to be a part of the in crowd. No one wants to be in the out crowd. But of course, who could blame them? Jesus was being invited to be a part of the in crowd in. But as usual Jesus was not very accommodating. And Jesus had his own agenda. And very often that agenda never agreed with what the in crowd wanted.
Now the in crowd is easily upset with what Jesus had to do or say. The Pharisee is scandalized to the seas as is letting this sooner or woman to Sonoma. Wisely the Pharisee observes that if Jesus was really a prophet he would’ve known what type of woman this was, that she was a terrible sinner.
The in crowd always wants to judge the out crowd. That seems to be the nature of things. And the problem with Jesus was that he refused to judge people. Jesus wanted to accept everyone as they were. Jesus wanted to touch every one right were they were in their life. The out crowd is always about changing people to make them fit in. Jesus was about accepting people the way they are. And the in crowd finds that point of view just a little bit frightening.
The challenge for us is how do we make St. Peter’s more like Jesus response and less like the Pharisee’s? Sadly too many outside of the church see a place filled with Pharisee’s only too happy to judge them and condemn them, rather than seeing a place filled with Jesus like people who want to embrace them with open arms of love and acceptance.