The gossip about Jesus in these verses leads Jesus to tell a story about the prodigal child who certainly was a subject for gossip among the neighbors. The religious authorities of that day were appalled that Jesus would enter conversation with notorious tax collectors and sinners. Grumbling and gossiping, they criticized Jesus in this way: "This fellow welcomes sinners and even eats with them!"
Thankfully Jesus still welcomes sinners and eats with us every time we gather to eat and drink at the Lord's Table. That gossip about Jesus is the gospel (the good news). That gossip about Jesus is what allows us to be in his company.
This gossip about Jesus is what I hope they say about your church fellowship and about you: "I hear they welcome sinners and eat with them. They welcome anybody and everybody." And so it is. The gossip about Jesus is indeed the welcoming gospel. It is the ministry of reconciliation.
Come, Lord Jesus, be our host. Teach us how to welcome all people to know your love and grace. Amen.
Luke 15:1-2 (NRSV)
1 Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him.
2 And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, "This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them."