23 October 2022 - Our passage today is the story of Jesus calling to the tax collector in a sycamore tree while He was passing though Jericho. This story should be read along side the parable of the 2 men who went up to the temple to pray - a religious man (Pharisee) and a sinner (tax-collector). In both accounts we are not only confronted with the issue of self-righteousness, but also with those good people (the religious man and the crowd) who seem to think that God’s mercy is beyond the sinner. The shocking ending to both accounts reminds us that we all stand in need of God’s mercy, and that humility and repentance is the right response to God’s overwhelming grace to us all. When reading these stories, it is easy to condemn the callous crowd and the Pharisee, but let's be aware that these faults are alive and well in the church - and in us.
Readings; Jeremiah 14:7-10, 19-22; Psalm 84:1-7; Luke 18:9-14 & 19:1-10.