It ain’t over

The early 20th century evangelist, Billy Sunday is reported to have said once that the best thing that could happen to any person would be to reach a moment of deep conversion, to be justified, to accept Jesus Christ as his personal Savior, walk out of the revival tent, be hit by a truck, and killed instantly. There would be no backsliding, no withering under the scorching sun of modern life, and no chance to move from this one moment. Continue reading

Finishing the Race

tn_race-titleJesus addressed this parable to those who were convinced of their own righteousness and despised everyone else.”  Well, I sure hope this parable isn’t addressed to me.  It is just a story, a parable, right?

But then stories and parables invite us to identify with characters – even if we don’t get a lot of choices here. We can be the Pharisee, but then it’s pretty clear that’s not a great choice.  You can almost hear the hubris, the pride, and the scorn in his prayer: “O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity – greedy, dishonest, adulterous – or even like this tax collector.”

I suspect most of us would favor the tax collector.  He seems to be the epitome of humility, is sincere, prayerful, and a model of conversion and penitence. Continue reading