New Life... starting on our Knees
Sometimes we get so used to certain themes in scripture that we miss what's really going on. The parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector (Luke 18), which is introduced as being "for those who trusted in themselves," is about the source of our righteousness: the mercy of God for us. We don't have prayers that end, "and our prayer is made on account of all the good stuff we've done." At the same time, however, this parable is not a condemnation of a rich life of prayer, marital fidelity, and sacrificial giving, those things which the Pharisee enumerates to God. Those things are not bad in themselves and in fact are part of the redeemed Christian life. The issue is that that new life flows from a foundation of faith and trust in God's mercy. New life begins on our knees.
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