BibleWorkbench: Pentecost 22, October 24, 2010

Text: Luke: 18:9-14

Pull down the blinds and lock the door. Turn the lights low. Stand up, take a deep breath, shut your eyes and go inside yourself. Meet there your Pharisee who is standing off by himself. With your inner eye look around your world at the tax collector folks – thieves, rogues, and adulterers. Say out loud: “God, I thank you that I am not like other people.” Name some of those “other people” in your family or at school or church or office or around the block or down the street. Talk to the empty room about your tithing and other good and admirable things you do. Be still and listen to yourself. Long pause. Another deep breath and now be your inner tax collector. Stand afar off. Do not look to heaven. Beat your breast. Speak: “God, be merciful to me, a sinner!” Turn the light up, sit down and write something of what was happening for you. Describe how it is you know that two such people are alive and well in your psyche and soul. How do they get along with each other? What do they have to learn from one another? Write down one thing that each – Pharisee and tax collector – would like to say to one another were they ever to draw close and meet.

– Bill Dols

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