1. As the church year ends, we are not give a vision of Jesus on His throne, ruling over a new creation. Instead, we see Jesus ruling from the cross. His grace comes in the midst of suffering and pain.
  2. When God does not give you a life free from suffering, He calls you to look for Him in the midst of suffering. There you find Him doing His work, giving you words to speak and promises to hold onto.
  3. In the text, Jesus enters a Pharisee’s house for dinner. Between the invitation and the meal, however, Jesus transforms this man’s home into a place of God’s care.
  4. When offering encouragement to His disciples to follow Him, Jesus did not promise a pain-free life in this world. Instead, He highlighted the struggle and the difficulty. Why?
  5. This is true discipleship. We live with Jesus, we hold on to Jesus, we suffer with Jesus, because Jesus brings a divisive peace that saves.
  6. We are loved by our heavenly Father. When the Creator and Giver of all good things is caring for you, suddenly, you are free to care for others.
  7. Everywhere we look, there is suffering. But Jesus is not calling us to look. He is calling us to listen.
  8. In his death, Jesus has done the ultimate act of charity. He has given his life for all.
  9. You cannot “be what you want to be” and follow Jesus. Jesus has a higher calling for you, a calling which is more personal.
  10. Jesus takes that which is overlooked and unappreciated and celebrates this child as the place where God is at work.
  11. The beauty of our gospel reading today is how it reveals Jesus as the One who comes not only for the strong in faith but also for those who are weak and walking away.

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