Faith Daily | 20 February 2021
PRAYER of the WEEK Ash Wednesday Prayer of the Season
Almighty and everlasting God,
you hate nothing that you have made,
and you forgive the sins of all who are penitent:
create and make in us new and contrite hearts,
that we, worthily lamenting our sins,
and acknowledging our wretchedness,
may obtain of you, the God of all mercy,
perfect remission and forgiveness;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen APBA p481
GOSPEL for the Day: Luke 5: 27-32
27 After this he went out and saw a tax-collector named Levi, sitting at the tax booth; and he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ 28And he got up, left everything, and followed him.
29 Then Levi gave a great banquet for him in his house; and there was a large crowd of tax-collectors and others sitting at the table* with them. 30The Pharisees and their scribes were complaining to his disciples, saying, ‘Why do you eat and drink with tax-collectors and sinners?’ 31Jesus answered, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; 32I have come to call not the righteous but sinners to repentance.’
GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by Rev'd Sandra
These verses describe the conversion and experience of one of Christ’s earliest disciples, a tax collector called Levi (also known as Matthew in Mark’s Gospel account). We can imagine that Levi’s conversion was a cause for sadness among his worldly friends. They saw him giving up a profitable profession to follow a new teacher from Nazareth.
They doubtless thought of his behaviour in doing this as nothing more than folly and an occasion for sorrow rather than joy, because they only looked at his temporal losses in becoming a follower of Christ. They knew nothing of his spiritual gains. And there are still people who, if they hear of a family member deciding to leave their current life and profession to follow Jesus, they consider it a misfortune. Instead of rejoicing they shake their heads and mourn at what they see being given up rather than celebrating what they have gained.
We are told that when Levi followed Jesus he held a banquet to celebrate and invited a large crowd of tax collectors (verse 29) to share it. He wanted them to also come and meet Jesus and see for themselves how they too could gain the gracious love of God in Christ. And this is always the attitude of a true believer. A person who has found joy in Jesus will always want to share the good news
FINAL PRAYER: From Celtic Prayers
We welcome you, Spirit of God,
You who seek our company
and choose to make yourself known to us.
We are grateful for many blessings,
including bringing us together in this time.
We ask that you would use this time
to challenge us, to encourage us, to change us,
that we may continue to grow and be transformed
and in this process find hope to offer the world
around us, in Jesus Christ our Lord.