This morning I read Luke 18 for my daily morning intake. As I read it again I was experiencing terror at our earthly condition and the state of the Church.
- 18: 1-8 Jesus reminds us to pray to God without ceasing by using a judge who does not fear God that finally relents and gives justice to a widow that approached him daily, because it was within his power to do. Jesus says God will give justice to his elect crying to Him day and night. Yet we so often leave prayers unsaid!
- 18: 9-14 Jesus describes two men who enter the temple. One is a Pharisee who is thankful he is not like the local riff raff, but instead fasts often and tithes from all his income and shows himself self-righteous before God. The other man, a tax collector and scum bag working for the oppressor, enters the temple and is so ashamed of his life and behavior will not lift his eyes from the ground and pleads with God to have mercy on him because he is a sinner and needs grace. How many of us today stand before God in self-righteousness? I fear a great number!
As I was preparing to write this blog, my wife entered the study and sought to join forces in prayer with me for friends of hers in surgery this morning. I was moved to tears at the state of our world and people and how desperate we are, like the blind man standing outside Jericho that upon hearing Jesus the Nazarene is walking by yelled, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” (18:35-43).
Jesus, please have mercy on us. We have needs and hungers and pains and sorrows and yet when looking at you, we have so much to be thankful for. Lord, have mercy on us, sinners.