One of the things about Jesus and what He did for us on the Cross is the job of reconciling us to God the Father and restoring us to our rightful place and position in Christ. This morning as I joined a prayer meeting before our church service started, we were praying along the lines of abiding in the presence of God and allowing Him to fill us up. Out of the blue, I started to think about one of the quote that is found on the Statue of Liberty. It reads "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!" (Or this is at least one of the quotes that is there. There are a few other quotes as well.)
In any case, as I was praying into this, the Holy Spirit brought Matt. 9:12 to mind. It's where Jesus is sitting and eating w/ the sinners and tax collectors (a big no no) and He tells those inquiring about what He's doing that its not the healthy that need a doctor, but the sick. And that He hasn't called the righteous but sinners to repentance.
During this time, I was praying that God would save me and our church from just mere boring services and church meetings. But that we'd be a people marked by the very presence of God. When someone comes in that is messed up, they find a people that want to work w/ them to get them back on track with the Lord. For some folks, this is quick and over in no time. For others, it may take some time.
I don't know about anyone else, but I know of folks who have some messed up lives. Luckily, I personally was spared from a lot of junk, although the Lord is always working on me to refine my character (He disciplines those that He loves.) But I was thinking about the spiritual implications of the above quote and how it applies to the church. America was founded by immigrants. It was founded by those who wanted to start over. It was seen as the land of opportunity. And a lot of that stuff is still the case today. (It's a generalization, I know we have our share of problems and issues. I'm quite well aware of a lot of the junk that happens in the political sector.)
But I was asking the Lord about the implications and what He was showing me. Part of our job as the church is to be like a hospital. We bring in the wounded and we get them cleaned up. We pray with them and look out for them and love on them. My friends list on here includes some interesting characters. But I love it because I'm able to love on people as Jesus did and hopefully I'm representing at least a little bit of the life of Jesus in me.
What was really neat was that later on during the service, during a part where prophetic words are given at times, one of the speakers mentioned the exact same verse above! I was like "wow, the Lord is saying something right now about this..." I knew all of this before, but sometimes, you just need a fresh revelation of it.