Pause

Scripture provides us with many ways — or postures — for approaching God.

Like in yoga or ballet, we can practice these postures. Breathing, stretching, bowing, moving, reaching.

Open yourself up to embracing the many different postures that we find within Scripture.

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Listen

“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He wouldn’t even lift his eyes to look toward heaven. Rather, he struck his chest and said, ‘God, show mercy to me, a sinner.’ I tell you, this person went down to his home justified rather than the Pharisee. All who lift themselves up will be brought low, and those who make themselves low will be lifted up.”

Luke 18:13-14

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Think

In contrast to the boastful Pharisee, this text considers the humble posture of the tax collector—the lowest of the low. During the first century, the listener would have been shocked to hear of a tax collector praying at all—much less one whose prayer is upheld as the example!

We have a lot to learn from the tax collector. He “wouldn’t even lift his eyes” and says nothing more than “show mercy to me!” What is it like to approach God with as much humility as the tax collector? What physical posture might we take to show our humility? What words might we use? How can we learn about approaching God like “the least of these?”

Katie Gilbert

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Pray

God, you know that sometimes humility can be difficult for me. Help me to learn from the tax collector. Show mercy to me. Amen.

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Go

Know that no matter what posture you come with today, you are loved.

Silent, proud, humble, exhausted, alone, fearful, in awe.

May you go out into the world practicing each of these postures and exploring the ways that they draw you ever closer to the God who created you and loves you.

Amen.

Katie Gilbert

Rev. Katie Gilbert currently serves as Director of Invitation and Outreach at First United Methodist Church of Birmingham, Alabama. She enjoys spending time with her husband Matt, her 17 month old daughter, Harper, and their crazy Boston Terrier, Lennon. They love to travel the world, eat good food, and spend time with family.

Reflections on the Way: O Rest in the Lord/All through the Night

Ken Medema

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