I enjoyed the recent preaching series on the parables of Jesus found in Matthew 13. I enjoyed the way Jesus was able to convey deep meaning often with such short illustrations. During my readings this week I was drawn to another of his parables, this one found in Luke 18:9-14. Here Jesus is teaching his disciples and tells them of two men who go up to the temple and pray. One is a pharisee and we see him thanking God that he is not like other people. Praising God that he is not like another sinful man he sees there, the tax collector. The sinful man in question, the tax collector, is praying his own prayer, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner’. Lent, the 40-day lead up to Easter Sunday is traditionally a time that sees us reflect on the broken condition of our human-ness. We are encouraged to acknowledge our state in the mirror of Christ. As I was contemplating this passage, I was aware that it had been a long time since I had just prayed “God, have mercy on me”. And I am made aware that I am just like the tax collector; human, a sinner, needing the mercy of God. Romans 3:23 For all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God. It is such a privilege we have that we can still lament the need of God’s mercy, knowing that it has already been given. Christ has turned His face towards Jerusalem and is headed there on our behalf.
Elliot is leading a series of four Grow Nights on the life of Christ starting this Tuesday (10th March). Come out and join us in meeting Christ once again, the seat of God’s Mercy!