Pulpit view in Hawick News 25th May 2012 – Captain Steven Turner
8,000 runners, 8,000 miles, 1,000 towns and villages, 70 days. Culminating in London in July the Olympic Torch relay features some famous names. But most of the torchbearers are ordinary people with some extraordinary stories. As I write, the torch is on its way through Wiltshire. During this morning, it was carried by several people who have cycled long-distances to raise money for charity. One man rode fromLand’s Endto John-o-Groats after a having kidney operation.
Two keen 12 year-old sports participants (one in a wheelchair) shared the honour with pensioners who give time and energy to encourage troubled teenagers. Other runners have taken teams to work in poorer countries overseas. The work of these volunteers often goes unnoticed. But it makes a huge difference to many disadvantaged people in our society.
Jesus moved on the margins of his society. His closest associates were a ragtag bunch of rednecks and misfits. He talked to loose women and touched people with infectious diseases. When challenged, he replied: “I didn’t come to invite good people to be my followers. I came to invite sinners.” (Matthew 9:13)
Jesus reminds us that God cares for the poor, the unemployed, the sick, the thief, the addict, as well as the “good” people. He wants us all to be rescued and restored to a relationship with him. All we have to do is ask.