Jesus came for the sinner, not the righteous…the sick, not the well. Jesus is our main teacher and model for ministry. Therefore, church is for the sick.
Saved or not, we are all sick. We all need the local church.
He went out again besides the sea, and all the crowd was coming to him, and he was teaching them. And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him. And as he reclined at the table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners were reclining with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. And the scribes of the Pharisees, when they saw he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.
Thank you for the example you gave of how to live and what ministry should look like. Thank you for associating with the rejects, “sinners,” and despised. Please help the churches in Birmingham to become a hospital for the sick. Please allow your grace to overpower the failures of the church in the eyes of the people who do not know you. Help those who love you, obey you, and serve the church week-in and week-out to continue with renewed joy. You never stopped in ministry. Rest came seldom for you, but you always felt compassion for the crowd. Please Holy Spirit overwhelm us with compassionate hearts. Lord God, help a2 church to be a hospital, rehab and home. Help and guide our efforts to serve you. Forgive our imperfections and help us to boast of your great perfection that has set us free from shame. Help us to tell the truth of your cross no matter how offensive. Do not bless us so that we can play with fame, no matter how attractive it looks, but give us what we need for the sake of the sick. This is how the world will know we are yours, that we love. Amen.