“Who? Me?” Levi must have thought as Jesus called him. Few people could have been more despised than a tax collector, a collaborator with the hated Romans.
In the Gospels, it can sometimes seem that those with money are damned: think of the parable of the rich man and Lazarus or the rich man who turned away sadly as he had great wealth. But salvation is for all: no-one is excluded.
What is demanded, though, is a radical change of life: a repentance of old ways to start a new healthy regime. Meeting Jesus turns Levi’s life upside-down. His whole being has to be reordered to conform to a different way of seeing, and today’s reading from Isaiah (58:9-14) indicates what this involves: honouring God in the Sabbath, yes, but also, overcoming oppression and feeding the hungry. Do this and “your light will rise in the darkness”.
With Jesus in our lives, his light will shine through in the transformation of our relationships and our world. It is through people responding to Jesus’ call that we can bring light and hope to others.
PrayJesus, you call us to follow you. Give us the courage to respond to that call, and create a new order in our lives and our world, where your light shines through in justice and generosity. Amen.
ActFind out more about how people are transforming their lives in Ethiopia.
Read Sophie's blog who recently travelled to Ethiopia as part of the Step into the Gap programme.