This week’s parable was the story of the Pharisee and the tax collector who came to pray (Luke 18:9-14). I was struck, in the sermon, by the idea that both men missed the mark by clinging so tightly to their view of the world, rather than praying for eyes to see what God might have to show them.
To his disciples, Jesus told a people-watching story:
Two men came to the Temple for to pray –
One was proud enough to stand in all his glory,
The other racked by guilt, despair, dismay.
One thought he was worthless, the other thought, “I’m best,”
Though both through the same gate had probably entered;
One proclaimed his purity, the other beat his breast,
And both in their own way were quite self-centered.
And I can ride the rail between the two men in the Temple,
Moving twixt presumption and persistence;
But either way I’m vulnerable to pride – its just that simple –
When it comes to grace, I take the path of most resistance.
Whether hubris or humility,
I can hide my vulnerability.