Jesus told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, `God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of all my income.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even look up to heaven, but was beating his breast and saying, `God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his home justified rather than the other; for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted.”
From Jamie Whitehurst
It’s funny how God speaks to us from time to time. Last night I was home, thinking about this message from the Gospel of Luke…. wondering what I would write about for these Lenten reflections. I started down a rabbit hole of YouTube videos, initially searching for Sainte-Chapelle de Paris, because the EfM reading sparked my interest in it. After watching a few videos about this beautiful chapel, YouTube continued to play seemingly random selections. My mind began wondering and suddenly jolted back to the TV when I heard a choir performing Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror”. I had never really listened to the lyrics until last night. In this parable Jesus seems to be warning us to look at ourselves first – to not judge others. “Man in the Mirror” speaks the same language.
Do yourself a favor and watch the video of “Man in the Mirror” as performed in the movie Joyful Noise. Listen to this choir with Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton. Listen to the words. Isn’t it funny how God speaks to us from time to time? I pray that others will hear God through us.