Reading: Matthew 21:28-32
Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you.” – Matthew 21:31In a foreign land I stepped into a church with a congregation from my homeland. Excited at first that I would be meeting fellow countrymen, my heart partly sank when I examined the crowd. It was a variety. Women with heavily painted faces and tacky clothing with their mixed-race children. Blue-collared workers, with their calloused hands which I felt when they reached out to shake my hand–yet they were smiling and welcoming and happy to see me. The way they spoke lacked the finesse I was used to with the people who surround me–or the people I choose to be surrounded with. And yet when the music started they sang with heartfelt prayer, arms reaching to the heavens, grateful, happy and fully dependent on God.
Father, forgive my arrogance. Cleanse my heart, O Jesus with the blood that flowed from your pierced, calloused hands–the hands of a carpenter. Clothe me with your righteousness. May I live a life of prayer, of servanthood, of kindness, gratefulness, and always remember that all that I am, all that I have is because of you. Thank you for the people who love and accept me–especially your children whose value is immeasurable because of what you have done on the cross–who see beyond my current imperfections, and only see You in me. Bless my people. Bless my nation. Bless everyone.