Feb 24, 2023
(Is.58:9-14; Ps.86:1-6,11; Lk.5:27-32)
“Repairer of the breach,” they shall call you,
“restorer of ruined homesteads.”
“Levi gave a great reception for Jesus in his house,” but it is Jesus who invites him, and all sinners, “to a change of heart” and to join Him in the home He makes for us all in heaven. As Levi (or Matthew) has done, so must we all: we must leave our “customs post,” that which roots us to this world – we must stand up and follow Him.
“You, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in kindness to all who call upon you.” David makes his prayer in our psalm, coming to the Lord as one “afflicted and poor,” begging the Lord’s pity upon his soul. And there is confidence that his cry is answered, that his soul is gladdened; for the promise has been made through Isaiah that “He will renew [our] strength,” that we “shall be like a watered garden, like a spring whose water never fails.” All that He has broken down in His anger against us and against our sins shall be raised up again: “The ancient ruins shall be rebuilt for your sake, and the foundations from ages past you shall raise up.” As we turn to Him and “call the sabbath a delight… not following [our] ways, seeking [our] own interests, or speaking with malice,” we shall indeed “delight in the Lord” and in His inheritance; He shall indeed “nourish [us] with the heritage of Jacob” – the food He gives us will far surpass the bread upon the table at Levi’s banquet. For it is upon His own Body we shall feed, and so find ourselves renewed in spirit and strengthened for the kingdom of heaven.
The Lord comes to invite all “sick people” to His healing grace. All who turn from their sins shall be acceptable to Him. And in His House they shall find a place, and be nourished well. “Even on the parched land” they shall find the water of life, for His grace extends to all places and all peoples. And with the bread we bestow on the hungry we ourselves shall be fed, for by this labor we shall unite with Him. “The mouth of the Lord has spoken.” Let us find the mercy His words desire for us.
O LORD, help us to recognize our sin
and call upon you for healing,
that your House might be rebuilt.
YHWH, teach us to turn from our sin, from following our own ways, that we might follow your Son where He leads, that we might come to Him for healing this day. Let us come into your light and there remain.
You will renew us, LORD, if we do well, for it is your desire to share your mercy with us and make us as your own again. Though in ruins our lives stand, though all seem lost because of our sin, when we call out to you, you hear us and gladden our souls with your refreshing love.
When Jesus comes to us, O LORD – as He shall come to all to heal us of all illness – when He stands before us and invites us to follow Him, may we be as Matthew and leave all of this world behind and set our hearts on obedience to His voice. May we invite Him in to the table of our bodies and our souls that He might feed us always with His Word and with the Bread He is, and that we might thus feed others. O let us be nourished well and be as a watered garden!