What has struck me of late, is how hard Jesus tried to make sure that no one was left out.
Think, for example, of the parable of the lost sheep in which the shepherd left 99 sheep in order to locate the one that went missing, and of the shepherd’s joy upon finding that poor lost sheep (Luke 15:1-7). Think also of Matthew the tax collector, disliked by his peers because not only did he collect taxes for the Romans (read: the oppressive government of the day), but many tax collectors also added a mark-up on the stipulated amount to be taxed, so that they could take a portion for themselves. Yet when Jesus spotted Matthew he called Matthew to be one of his disciples – and Matthew left everything he had to follow Christ (Matthew 9:9-13).
Such was Jesus’ passion – to include all. Are there ways in which we could more consciously make it ours, as part of our daily and hourly awareness? Are there ways in which we do things, or things we say, that unintentionally exclude some people?
Revd Claudia Coustas