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noswimmingEnglish sign in German cafe: "Mothers, Please Wash Your Hans Before Eating."

On a scientist's door: "Gone Fission"

Outside a hotel: "Help!  We need inn-experienced people."

On a music teacher's door: "Out Chopin."

On the door of a music library: "Bach in a minuet."

At a farmer's field: "The farmer allows walkers to cross the field for free, but the bull charges."

In a podiatrist's window: "Time wounds all heels."

At the Electric Company: "We would be de-lighted if you send in your bill. However, if you don't, you will be."

Sign on fence: "Salesmen welcome. Dog food is expensive."

Muffler shop:  "No appointment necessary. We'll hear you coming."

Veterinarian's waiting room: "Be back in 5 minutes. Sit!  Stay!"

Optometrist's office: "If you don't see what you're looking for, you've come to the right place."

That last sign is just a humorous way of saying that it is only those people who are sick who are in need of the doctor.  And isn't that what Jesus himself said?

"Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance." (Mark 2:17)

Jesus and the Pharisees often had conflict over the "sinners".  The Pharisees drew a sharp dividing line between the righteous and the sinners.  No good Jew would ever associate with "that kind of people."

But, while the feeling of the religious leaders was contempt and disgust for sinners, that certainly wasn't the attitude of Jesus.  Jesus often ate and drank with them and invited one of them (Levi) to be one of his apostles.  The Pharisees accused Jesus of being the "friend of tax-collectors and sinners."  But to Jesus, that was a compliment.  And it is perhaps the most endearing and touching description of our Lord.

Jesus didn't come to hobnob with the religious elite.  He came to save sinners.  He didn't come to make small talk with people too blind to see how sin-sick they truly were.  He came to be a doctor to those who were sick and knew it.  It wasn't those who claimed to be "righteous" who commanded Christ's attention.  It was the "sinners" he came looking for.

Sometimes we need to be reminded that the church is not a place for people who are perfect, but rather a place for those who are sick (with sin) who are seeking healing at the hands of the Great Physician.

Don't stay away from church because you don't have it all together.  Come and find healing along with the rest of us who don't have it all together either.

Alan Smith