"The gospel comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable."
Reading the Bible, especially The Gospel of Luke, is humbling. In the words of writer, Finley Peter Dunne, who observed that newspapers "comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable," the same could be said for the gospel. Throughout his teachings, Jesus comforted the afflicted and afflicted the comfortable. Moreover, he reminded us all to be humble. In Luke ch 18, Jesus tells a parable about two individuals, who went to the Temple and prayed. This was the extent of the similarities. One person (a Pharisee) prayed while boasting and looking down on others. "God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of all my income." (v11-12) The other person (a tax collector) prayed with a very different attitude. The tax collector refused to look up to heaven. With a heavy heart, this person prayed, "God, be merciful to me, a sinner!" (v13) In such clear and simple terms, Jesus teaches us the appropriate attitude for prayer. Jesus reminds us that if we pray with the mindset of the Pharisees, we might as well not even pray. There are no grounds for our boasting. There is no reason for spiritual snobbery.. "for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted." (v14) As we enter this new day, let's cling to the cross. Let's cherish God's love. Let's treasure the gift of each day because it's God's grace (not our goodness) that saves us. It's Christ's love (not our self-righteousness) that leads us in the way of eternal life. Thanks be to God. ~ Pastor Caleb