THIRD SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST                              

 This is the day the LORD hath made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.    

Hosea 5:15-6:6                                                                                                                                        Romans 4:18-25                                                                                                                 Matthew 9:9-13                                                                                                                        Psalm 119:65-72    

A story is told of a painter, who was searching for a man to serve as a model for a painting. Late in the day he came upon a unshaven, ragged beggar. Here was the man he wanted. He gave him a sum of money and told him to report to him the next day.    

When the beggar appeared he was a different man, clean, shaven, and neatly dressed. As a result he lost the privilege of being a model for the painting. The artist wanted the beggar just as he was.    

The analogy may be imperfect. Yet it does illustrate a basic truth of the Christian Gospel. Our LORD wants us to come to Him just as we are, not as we think we should be. To the Pharisees of His day Jesus said: "I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance."    

One of the most beautiful inviations recorded in the gospels are the well-known words of Christ: "Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Matt 11:28. Did you notice to whom His invitation is addressed? All who are morally perfect? Paragons of piety?, the socially elite?, church councilmen? pastors, and etc ?    

NO! "All ye that labor and are heavy laden." The offer of divine pardon, divine peace, and eternal rest in the mansions of His Father is made to those who are laboring under the burden of sin and are weighed down by the numberless and annonymous crosses of life.      

Christian friends, "Come to Me," He says to the spiritually hungry,  thirsty,  weary, and  impoverished," and I will give you rest"-- the rest of full and free forgiveness, of sonship in His Father's family.  

Just as I am, thou wilt receive,                                                                                     Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;                                                              Because Thy promise I believe,                                                                                            O Lamb of God, I come, I come.  

PRAY WITH ME.  O God, from whom all good proceeds, grant to us Your humble servants, that by Your holy inspiration, we may think the things that are right, and by Your merciful guiding accomplish them. In Jesus name we pray. Amen