Mark 2:17 – Jesus heard them and answered, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor, but sick people do. I didn’t come to invite good people to be my followers. I came to invite sinners.”

Gratitude Day 818

In case no one has told you lately, YOU are amazing!

As a person who struggles with loving myself, sometimes we just need to be reminded that we ARE amazing. And it’s OK for us to be good with this.

I sat in the car this week a little surprised. I had taken our granddaughter and her friend to gymnastics. They asked to stop for smoothies afterwards. While waiting in the drive-up line, our granddaughter asked if they could have a large size because “they (the girls) are spectacular people.”

It caught me off-guard. At 12-years-old, I am confident that I did not think I was spectacular. At an age higher than most speed limits, I still would not assume that I am spectacular. And I definitely would not speak it so honestly to someone else.

Yet I am glad these girls think of themselves this way? I celebrate that they have enough self-confidence in themselves that they really believe they ARE spectacular. I know they will have plenty of days when they will doubt this. Or their friends will hurt them and they will struggle with this. But for today, I am celebrating that these girls have wonderful confidence in who they are.

It was International Woman’s Day this week. A day when we can remember and celebrate the women who have impacted our lives, whether you are male or female. A lot of women have encouraged me, mentored me, cheered me on and for this, I am deeply, deeply grateful. I pray that you have thought about the women who have left their fingerprints all over your life and celebrate them as well.

What else is inspiring me this week?

Here are a few things.

This song. Yes, it speaks of sorrow and pain. But it also encourages us to celebrate where we are.

A simple card. Want to make a person feel like a million bucks? Take three minutes and send them a deeply meaningful card. I received one in the mail this week. And boy, did it touch me. Thank you. Today, I am going to send a card to a woman I admire, just because.

This week’s scripture.

In the “Read Bible in a Year” plan that I am following, we read through the Gospel of Mark this week. Mark is the shortest of the gospels and most biblical scholars believe it was the first gospel written. Mark is fast, furious and little fluff. It’s the gospel on steroids. There is no story of Jesus’ birth. It begins with John the Baptist proclaiming that the coming of someone greater than he.

When Jesus enters the story, he is quickly baptized and then launches his public ministry. Immediately, his ministry of healing begins. He hangs out with the rough crowd: the sinners, tax collectors and other people on the fringes of society.

When the teachers of the law question his tactics behind Jesus’ back, Jesus does not shy away from an opportunity to answer the question himself. And this is what he says:

“I came to invite sinners, not good people.”

With this declaration, Jesus defines his entire ministry. The “good” people? They don’t think they need me. But the sinners? Oh, they know.

Someone rephrased Jesus’ words for us today and said it something like, “The church should not be a hotel for saints but a hospital for sinners.”

It’s OK to celebrate that we think we are spectacular. But it is just as important for us to have enough self-awareness to realize when we’ve made mistakes. Hurt other people. Disappointed God and ourselves. This, my friends, is true humility. And just as important as self-confidence.

So, on this weekend during Lent, celebrate who you are. Your special gifts and abilities that God bestowed upon you. Know that YOU do spectacular things for God’s kingdom. Embrace these opportunities and make the most of them.

Yet, also accept that you make mistakes. That God provided a way to deal with your shortcomings through Jesus. Celebrate the God loves you in spite of your foibles and certainly wants you to come to God’s feet and receive the grace God desperately wants you to feel.

No matter what you did or did not accomplish this week, You are a beloved child of God. You are amazing. God knows this. I believe it. Now, go and live it.

For the need to celebrate who we are in God, I am grateful.

Blessings –

Most Holy God – Even when I may have a difficult time looking at myself and thinking that I am spectacular, You always do. Help me love and appreciate who I am more fully. Yet, humbly, knowing that I make mistakes every day. Today, I celebrate who I am and the person I can become through your grace. Amen.

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