Counting the Days

This last Sunday in worship, I took the brave step of addressing the political atmosphere of today. Don't worry, I didn't endorse any political candidate, or belittle any candidate either. What I did was use the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector to talk about how the parable might help us better understand prayer for this time in history. Clearly the Pharisee only wanted to point out his own righteousness. He did not admit to any faults of his own. He just compared himself to people like the Tax Collector, and reminded God of how much better he was than people like the Tax Collector. The Tax Collector, recognizing his faults, cried for mercy. He didn't make any promises to change his ways, he just wanted mercy.
We could take this parable on face value and believe that if we just act humbly we will be deemed righteous by God. However the lesson goes much deeper. Neither of the two men praying asked for God's help in living a life with God as the focus. The Pharisee spends his time in prayer patting himself on the back. The Tax Collector asks for mercy, but makes no request of assistance to change his behavior. As this election cycle continues to turn people against each other, how are we acting, and how are we using our prayers for change? 
This election season has caused pain between family members, friends, co-workers and neighbors. There has not been a better time to ask for God's intervention in our own lives and in the world. Prayers to lift ourselves to a higher level, or to ask for mercy are not helpful for change, they simply keep us nuzzled in our own place of safety. 
God in this time of division, causing pain between me and my brothers and sisters, guide my heart and voice to a place of love and healing. Amen.
~ Eldonna Hazen

Posted on October 25, 2016 at 10:25 am in Featured Content.

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