Luke 15:2, “Jesus welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
If you came to church around 9:15 am last Sunday morning you might have seen the automobile accident near Wal-Mart on Atlanta Highway. Cars were smashed and people were hurt. There was a crowd of people. Did you happen to notice the onlookers, the gawkers? They were standing back and just looking. They weren’t there to help; they didn’t want to get involved. Then there were the police taking notes, getting names, and insurance information. They were deciding who is in the right and whose fault it was. They are there to make a judgment. Then there were the paramedics who were kneeling next to and bending over those injured, giving aid. They didn’t care whose fault it is, they were offering compassion and medical aid; they were giving kind words, encouragement, and hope. If you had been in that accident, who do you want near? The paramedic of course! You want the one who has come with compassion and aid. When we encounter the LOST, too often, we stand back like the gawker, unwilling to “DO” anything. Or, we encounter the lost, and stand like the policeman: judging, criticizing, looking for fault, giving tickets and warnings. At the moment a lost person turns to you for help, at the moment a hurting soul looks up and realizes he is lost, they first need compassion, not someone standing aloof and certainly not criticism. First they need compassion and then they need someone to gently and truthfully point them, bring them, and lead them to the Great Physician who can and wants to heal them.
– Virginia Thompson