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  • Writer's picturePhil

Saturday Sinners - March 21st 2020

Find somewhere quiet to sit for a few minutes......

This is holy space

God is here - you are welcome

This is your space to be with God And God's space to be with you

Make yourself at home

Be yourself

Be real

There's no rush

Let God love you

Let God know you

Let God heal you

Let God speak to you

Receive from God

Commune with God…..

Sit for a moment in silence

I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall ever be in my mouth.

O magnify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together.

Christ our companion,

you came not to humiliate the sinner

but to disturb the righteous.

Welcome us

when we are put to shame,

but challenge our smugness,

That we may truly turn

from what is evil,

and be freed even from our virtues,

in Your name.

(Janet Morley)

Today's reading, shared with you by many other people today around the world

LUKE 18: 9-14 Jesus spoke the following parable to some people who prided themselves on being virtuous and despised everyone else:

‘Two men went up to the Temple to pray, one a Pharisee, the other a tax collector.

The Pharisee stood there and said this prayer to himself,

“I thank you, God, that I am not grasping, unjust, adulterous like the rest of mankind, and particularly that I am not like this tax collector here. I fast twice a week;

I pay tithes on all I get.”

The tax collector stood some distance away, not daring even to raise his eyes to heaven; but he beat his breast and said,

“God, be merciful to me, a sinner.”

This man, I tell you, went home again at rights with God; the other did not.

For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled,

but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.’

THE PHARISEE IN US gets our prayer answered.

Those of us with strong Pharisee facets

are successful, accomplished, dutiful and faithful,

mindful of others and our responsibilities towards them.

But we live out these gifts as if they are personal achievements - personal attributes.

The gifts of the Spirit are treated

like the premiums we can afford to pay

into the great salvation insurance policy

that will at some point pay out by giving us eternal life.

We will get out what we put in.

It’s our sense of successful spiritual achievement

that shuts us off from God.

We become self-sufficient,

content to follow the rules and obey the laws

but having no real need of God.


…..knows that an increase of the gifts of the Spirit is undeserved.

It’s certainly beyond our ability to achieve.

For the Tax Collector in us,

faith, hope and love are not the expressions

of his or her ability to make virtuous deposits

into the Eternal Life Bank

or pay the premiums of our Salvation insurance.

The Tax Collector in us does not claim

the gifts of the spirit as personal attributes.

When identifying with the Tax Collector figure within us

we are aware of our vulnerability,

our dependency, of our deep need of Grace.

Therefore we have no other possibility

than to open from this place of need and deprivation

to the hope of acceptance and fulfilment in the Holy Spirit.

Mark Coffey – 2010.

Time for reflection


Light of light,

you have searched me and known me.

You know where I am and where I go,

you see my thoughts from afar.

You discern my paths

and my resting places,

you are acquainted with all my ways.

O God of forgiveness,

we contemplate you.....

Search me out, O God,

and know my heart;

lead me in the way that is everlasting.

Not a word comes from my lips,

but you, Lord,

have heard it already.

You are in front of me and behind me,

you have laid your hand upon my shoulder.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,

so great that I cannot fathom it.

O God of forgiveness, we contemplate you.....

Search me out, O God, and know my heart;

lead me in the way that is everlasting.

We must live as changed people,

because we share the raised and living Christ

and cannot remain the same.

Much is expected from us.

Much will be enabled by us.

Many will be encouraged through us.

May we each live our lives to God’s glory,

through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

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1 Comment

Mar 21, 2020

This is fabulous, Phil, thank you, especially the final prayer.

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