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The Twentieth Sunday After Pentecost C

The Twentieth Sunday After Pentecost C

The example of the unrighteous judge (Lk. 18:1-8) is now applied in a concrete way to those confronting Jesus.  These who are righteous in themselves and contemptuous of others are akin to that judge who neither feared God nor respected people (Lk. 18:2).  The crowd of people confronting Jesus consists of both disciples and Pharisees (Lk. 17:20).  The target audience for this parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector is indeterminate.  It could be pointedly aimed at the Pharisees in the crowd, or it could be broadly aimed and include the disciples as well.  Limiting the target audience to the Pharisees also limits the accusation of the parable.  Rightly, its application extends to disciples both then and now.  Those who would be righteous in themselves and are contemptuous of others lack the quality of honesty exhibited by the unrighteous judge.  Jesus must speak even more pointedly in his confrontation with the sinners around him.  That confrontation with sinners is brought forward today by your preacher who speaks for Jesus in calling out your self-righteousness and lack of respect for others.

Prayers from one who would rather look to the work of his own hands for righteousness rather than Jesus’ work on the cross…

Father in heaven, your Son provides my total righteousness; keep my eyes and my faith entirely looking to him rather than looking to myself.  Amen

Father in heaven, your Son provides for my total humility; in that humility, keep me from contempt for evildoers for I myself am numbered among them.  Amen

Father in heaven, your Son died at the hands of sinners, and I am numbered among them, totally. Like that tax collector, I can only say, “God, be merciful to me, sinner that I am!” (Lk. 18:13).  Amen

Father in heaven, your Son provides my total righteousness, so hold me in his righteousness that I turn to my neighbors in usefulness rather than to prove my own righteous deeds.  Amen

Father in heaven, your Son forgives my sins, grant that I, too, forgive the sins of my neighbors.  Amen

Father in heaven, your Son, Jesus Christ, is the content of our proclamation.  Grant to the Institute of Lutheran Theology a single-minded pursuit of this content and its proclamation.  Amen

Father in heaven, your Son has promised to return in glory so that what is hidden now may then be revealed.  Hold me in patient anticipation so that I do not covet a premature glory.  Amen

I commend these things to you, Father, trusting in your mercy through Jesus Christ your dear Son, my Lord.  Amen


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