March 15, 2011
Morning - Psalm 26, Ezekiel 2, Matthew 9:1-13
Evening - Psalm 4, Psalm 16, Ezekiel 3:16, 2 Corinthians 4
Matthew 9 finds our Lord again in dispute with the Pharisees. The climax of today's reading is verse 13, "I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." The Pharisees' values were wrong. They valued show and pomp. Jesus values real faith and obedience. His concern is that sinners (and that is all of us) are running to hell with all their strength. His concern is to save them from the awful consequences of actually and eternally reaching that goal. He not only calls sinners to repent, but also gives Himself as the ransom for their sins.
One of the things we give ourselves to in Lent is the serious examination of our values. We will honestly ask and answer probing questions about them. What do I value in life? How do I know that I value it? How are my values formed? What do I allow to shape my values? Do I value humbleness, kindness, honesty, and integrity? What personality traits do I value in others? In myself?