He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, ‘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.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even look up to heaven, but was beating his breast and saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his home justified rather than the other; for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted.” –Luke 18: 9-14, NRSV
And maybe those 40 days of “giving up,” of fasting (whether from food or a news feed), or surrendering power or confidence, or confessing, “I can’t be this; I can’t do this on my own,” will alter something at my core . . . forever. Maybe that is what I dislike most about Lent. Maybe that is why I have to be driven to it, rather than politely invited. –David Brock, Driven Into Lent
- How is the Lenten challenge to give something up actually changing you at your core? Are you willing to be changed at your core?
- How do you respond to the invitation of humility and surrender that come in the Lenten wilderness? What is the deepest call of this season for your life?
- Prayerfully dwell in the parable from Luke 18:9-14. What is God’s invitation to you in this text?