Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the historic one-year lectionary.
Our Gospel, from Luke 18:9-14, draws a line between two attitudes, both embodied for us. The one, shown in a Pharisee, thinks he is just the kind of person God wants. And we all immediately agree that it is a good thing to be a righteous person who is upright, does works that show a holy devotion to God, and gives to the needs of church and community. We would all be glad to know this person. In fact, it must be nice that God gets to know such an upright fellow.
The other attitude, shown in the person of the tax colletor, has no good works to show. What a failure! He keeps pleading for God’s mercy, but why in the world would God want to have mercy on him? Nobody would want to know this character.
The tax collector is exactly the person God is glad to know. He cries out for what he needs. The creator of all gives him mercy.
No, we don’t want to enter into sin so God can be pleased to forgive us. But when we pray, we call out to God so He will have mercy, working according to His good pleasure. Lord, have mercy on us, and on the world you have created.
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