Good morning! Please excuse my yawning. It's not the company, be assured. Its the fact that I woke up on husband time (his alarm woke me up, then J was awake, along with the cats) this morning and instead of getting on up and getting the day started I foolishly tried to go back to sleep. Didn't happen. First shift can be such fun, let me tell you. That's okay though. A more relaxed schedule is on tap for the next several days. In the meantime I have a cat asleep on my arm as I type and J has let me know he's ready for breakfast. As long as I talk to him, I have a few minutes to write so I'll hush with the gabbing and get today's reading started. : )
Today we are reading Luke 18:9-14. How many of us has ever heard heard herself or someone else say, "Well at least I'm not a murder (or an adulterer, liar, cheat, or other sin that is "worse" than what we do)? We may not actually say those words but its hard not to think it sometimes when we think about the hierarchy of sin. That's human speak, by the way. As humans we tend to like to put things in perspective. Oh, I only fibbed and told Margaret that dress looked good on her. That's only a little white lie. It's not like I cheated on my taxes or killed somebody!
Jesus told a parable about a Pharisee and a publican, or tax collector. Tax collector's had a bad rep even then. Both these men went to the temple to pray. The Pharisee was loud and proud in his prayer, telling God all the things he did, such as tithing of everything he possessed. "God, I thank thee that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican." (V 11)
Can't you just see him saying this with a sneer on his face? Almost as if he hated to even say the word publican.
The publican, however, stood in a corner and wouldn't even lift his eyes heavenward. He thumped himself on the chest and said God, be merciful to me, a sinner.
14. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
To God, sin is sin. We all sin, even after baptism. We are not better than anyone else even though we try not to sin. Even a murderer can be forgiven and be a Godly person if he is repentant. Look at King David. He went after another man's wife, and deliberately placed him in the front lines during a battle, knowing he would be killed, so he could marry the woman. That's murder. Yet God considered him a man after God's own heart.
How wonderful to know that when we mess up, if we are repentant we can be forgiven.
Have a great day.