Woker than Thou

By Kent French
October 23, 2019 - 3:09pm

This Sunday, we continue exploring some of Jesus' parables in the Gospel of Luke.

This week's parable (Luke 18:9-14), is about a righteous Pharisee and a worldly tax-collector praying side-by-side. The Pharisee is giving thanks for how pious and holy he is, while the tax-collector is asking for mercy and fessing up to his imperfections. Jesus observes that the tax-collector went down to his home justified rather than the other and concludes: for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted.

Seems pretty straightforward, right?

Maybe. My question for Sunday is: when are we the Pharisee and when are we the tax-collector?
In a world of political correctness, of being woke (attuned to social and racial injustice), of speaking out about our own pet social and political issues, it's easy to get too self-satisfied with our positions, without considering how misdirected or ill-informed we might actually be. Having some humility about our point of view seems desperately needed in a culture that continues to grow increasingly divided.

And furthermore, what is the difference between God's kind of righteousness and our own self-righteousness? When are we merely seeking to be right and when do we cross over into the hubris of smug certainty?

We will also have the joy of hearing our Carolers and Chancel Choir in worship.  I look forward to being in worship with you.

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