Posted by: Pauline | October 29, 2017

Scriptures for Sunday November 5

Proverbs 15:8-10

Nearly every religion directs its worshipers to make sacrifices of some kind to avert divine punishment and/or gain divine favor. Often people come to see these sacrifices as a way to bribe God, as it were, to look the other way when it comes to their sinful behavior.

But God makes it clear in this passage, as throughout the Bible, that He has no use for such sacrifices. He accepts the sacrifice of the person who pursues righteousness both in everyday life and in religious practices, but the person who turns away from God cannot receive His blessing.

Psalm 51:15-17

This psalm echoes that same idea that sacrifice by itself cannot please God, but focuses on a different aspect of what it means to seek God. Spoken by a man who knows he has already committed a grave offense against God, it recognizes that pursuing righteousness begins with acknowledging his guilt and his brokenness before God.

Luke 18:9-14

When reading Scripture, we often tend to identify with the person in the story who is “the good guy,” the one who seeks God. But which person is it in this story? The one who lives a good moral life, or the one who has probably cheated his neighbors and enjoyed the monetary benefits of collaborating with the enemies of his people?

Even when we decide to identify with the tax collector, coming to God asking for mercy because of our sins, it is easy to unconsciously adopt the attitude of the Pharisee. “Thank you, God, that I know the right way to come to you, asking for forgiveness, instead of being like that person who think he can go to heaven because he is a good person.” True humility does not come easy to us.


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