The Question About the Lord’s Disreputable Companions


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Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

— Luke 15:1-2 (NIV)

 

There is an old hymn called “Jesus Keeps Me Near the Cross” which I am experiencing deep in my soul today because we are closing a chapter of Love INC’s contribution to the community. Yes, our article on September 12th will be the final faith article coordinated by Love INC. This has been a two-year journey! We pray that you have enjoyed the articles contributed by Love INC, friends, and people in the ministry.

Love INC is a faith based organization dependent upon the local churches and businesses in our community. We form partnerships with the local churches to mobilize the local churches in their connection with the hurting people of our community. We have served over 600 people in our community assisting with: prayer, connecting them with a local church, food, clothing, household items, rent, and utilities, etc. We have given our neighbors air miles and vehicles through contributions by our friends. We have also assisted with funeral services. One night a neighbor called having difficulties and the next morning we received a call saying she had passed away. We are not an emergency organization, but many of our neighbors depend upon us to reach out and touch them in challenging times. Just like Jesus gathered the hurting and the lost, Love INC gathers the hurting and the lost to be a bridge over troubled waters.

Each year at the Thanksgiving Blessing we have over 600 people gathering, some who serve and others who receive. We are now planning for this year’s event. Look on our Facebook page for Love INC’s coming events. We are very impressed by the huge number of volunteers for the Thanksgiving Blessing. The Thanksgiving Blessing event will be on Monday, Nov. 25, at Joy Lutheran Church on Eagle River Loop Road. Please mark your calendars.

The power of God is with us at this event many prayers are prayed and answered for our neighbors. We look forward to serving God’s people with not only food but with His love and Word. Gary Inrig writes:

“The Lord wants us to see that the Father’s heart hurts for the lost and rejoices when the lost are found. He uses a concept we all understand. When something of value is lost, we do not despise it, we search for it, and rejoice in the finding of it. It is obvious that people feel this way, but the amazing discovery is that God does also. That is the point of the parables.” (The Parables, Understanding What Jesus Meant, 13.)

 

We see God’s unfailing love at the Thanksgiving Blessing and we want to share it with our neighbors and friends. Please contact Love INC at 250-1735 for more information.

 

Reverend Gracie Jackson is the Executive Director of Love INC of Eagle River and Pastor at Grace Ministries in Eagle River. For information about contributing a column for the faith section, call 694-2727 or email editor@alaskastar.com

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