I am looking through the texts for this next Sunday and have decided to go with the Gospel text (Luke 18:9-14) for my sermon. How can I not, when Jesus tells a story to a group of people who are full of themselves and leaving little room for God? And how could I not choose a text where Jesus throws in a Pharisee character and tax collector, having the latter come out looking much better than the former? And how can I not, when I can't help but thinking I look a lot more like the religious here than the irreligious? This will be a good week of study.
9He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt: 10“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.11The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of all my income.’13But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even look up to heaven, but was beating his breast and saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ 14I tell you, this man went down to his home justified rather than the other; for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted.”