Today's Gospel reading (Luke 15:1-10) recounts that Jesus was roundly criticized for eating with tax collectors and sinners. He responded with a question: "Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it?" He implied that his eating with sinners ? being their guest and honoring them as his hosts despite their sin ? was part of God?s search for the lost. There's a lesson for us concerning the current dispute over who is entitled to be part of the Anglican Communion.
Some traditionalist Episcopalians and Anglicans think the Episcopal Church should be expelled from the Anglican Communion, banished from the common table, because of its alleged apostasy. Many of these people seem to be possessed of an invincible certainty that they know The Truth.
My initial reaction to such people is, good riddance. I view their certainty as sinful, just as they view people like me as heretical.
But if we take Jesus as our model, then we should each be willing to continue ?eating? with the other ? staying in communion, talking with each other, honoring each other ? in the hope of saving a sinner. And who knows: The sinners we save may be ourselves.