Our scripture this week is from Luke 18:9-14. It is about two men who went to the temple to pray, a tax collector and a Pharisee. The Pharisee prays loudly for all to hear about how thankful he is that he is not like the sinners of the world, especially like the tax collector next to him. The tax collector prays quietly a prayer of confession. Jesus’ observation is that the tax collector went home rightly related to God.
As I look at this scripture, I think there is another response Jesus might have made here: “Where is there love for the neighbor?” They are standing next to each other and Jesus has made it clear that all who cross our paths are our neighbors.
This morning I was at McDonald’s getting a biscuit and some coffee. When I pulled up to the window to pay, the cashier smiled at me and said the man in front of me had paid for my order. I don’t have any idea who he was, other than that he drives an older blue Ford Expedition. I don’t know anything about him except that his actions brought a smile to my face and made me think about loving our neighbors.
There are many ways we can express our love for neighbors. A smile, a kind word, holding the door, wearing a mask out in public, the list goes on and on. These random acts of kindness are how God intends for us to build his kingdom here on earth, right now.
How’s your kingdom building going? Mine needs a little work.
O God, help us to see the ways we can express our love for our neighbors. Amen.
Always, to God be the Glory!