Our scripture this week is Luke 18:9-14.

13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’
Luke 18:13

The tax collector talks about himself in his prayer just as the Pharisee did, but his intent is completely different. Instead of building himself up for his own pious acts, this man is honest and humble before God, admitting his sinfulness and asking for God’s mercy.

If we are honest with God and ourselves, we know we all sin in some way. This man doesn’t specify his particular thoughts, words or acts, but he acknowledges his responsibility for them. This is the key to restoring our relationship with God.

The Lord is gracious to us and will forgive our sins when we repent and earnestly ask for His mercy. He gave us the ability to choose, and when we turn from evil to Him, our connection to Him can be restored.

Loving Lord, we regret the harms we do to each other, the unkind word, the harmful action. Forgive us and show us the way to forgive others that we may be healed and brought back to be part of Your work in the world. Amen.

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