Scripture: Luke 18:9-13
To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, sovaldi sale Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, pharmacy one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’
“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’
Thought for the Day: I remember studying the art of meditation, many decades ago, with someone who really emphasized the “oneness” of humanity. But when confronted with difficult people or situations, she would say, “There, but for the grace of God, so go I.” Many of you might have read a similar sentiment in a self-help book by someone like Tony Robbins or Joel Osteen. But I have a problem with this phrase, because it still sets the person reciting it apart from everyone else, just like the Pharisee thought he was better than everyone else. It’s as if we are somehow better because God is with us, but not with that other person—I have God’s grace, but the other person does not.
This is simply not true. We all have the grace of God with us, no matter our station, our appearance, our ability or lack thereof, our health or lack thereof, or anything else we think sets us apart and makes us either glorified or a sinner. We are all beloved and forgiven—that’s the meaning of grace, no exceptions.
The sinner in this story isn’t really doing any better than the Pharisee though, because believing we’re sinners means we believe we’re lacking something, which means we believe what others say about us—that we’re missing God’s grace somehow. This also is not true. The grace of God, the glory of Christ, and the instructions of Jesus bless each and every one of us, all the time. None of us is awash in sin, and none of us should be thanking God that we’re “better” than someone else. Because through God’s eyes, we’re all accepted and loved, all the time.
The real problem is that so few of us actually believe that.
Prayer: Make me believe, Lord, that I am truly worthy of your affection—of any affection. Remind me, often, that I am no better than any of my brothers and sisters. We are all seekers, striving to find our way. Help us accept each other and support each other as we strive to be more like Christ; as we strive to create a world of peace, love, harmony, and respect. Amen.