Eating and Drinking with Sinners

Toby Sumpter writes:

“The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ But wisdom is justified by her children.” (Mt. 11:19)

We have said before that in one sense Advent occurs every Lord’s Day. Every Lord’s Day the Lord comes to His people in worship. One of the ways that God reminds us of this fact is through this meal. Jesus came the first time eating and drinking and fellowshipping with outcasts, and every week Jesus still comes through the power of the Spirit, eating and drinking and fellowshipping with sinners. This is how God came into the world in Jesus, and through the Spirit this is how Jesus continues His Advent among us. Our collective list of sins is very long and embarrassing. We are not respectable society.

And perhaps this gathering looks a little dangerous. A bunch of sinners and tax collectors eating and drinking together: like that’s a good idea. Or maybe it just looks really silly, a bunch of sinners gathered around drinking wine from thimbles and sharing little bits of bread. How is that potent or powerful? But wisdom is justified by her children.

Here is the feast of Wisdom, and as we eat in faith and joy, and as we live this Eucharistic thankfulness in our lives, God promises to justify this wisdom through us. We are the children of Wisdom, as we feast on Jesus, as we cling to Jesus, as He is our strength, our security, our identity, our everything. Then as the children of Jesus, the Wisdom of God is justified to the watching world. This silly feast is for us the glory of God because here we enact the justice and the mercy and the peace of God for the world. And God promises to use this little feast to draw us and all of history up to great and final Feast. So come in faith and with rejoicing.

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