Pause

As long as you are proud you cannot know God. A proud [person] is always looking down on things and people: and, of course, as long as you are looking down you cannot see something that is above you.

from Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis (1952)

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Listen

Every high priest is taken from the people and put in charge of things that relate to God for their sake, in order to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. The high priest is able to deal gently with the ignorant and those who are misled since he himself is prone to weakness. Because of his weakness, he must offer sacrifices for his own sins as well as for the people. No one takes this honor for themselves but takes it only when they are called by God, just like Aaron.

Hebrews 5:1-4

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Think

The Old Testament tells stories of worship in the temple built by Solomon, where a Jewish high priest would stand before the people and offer a sacrifice (usually an animal) to God on their behalf. In the letter to the Hebrews, found in the New Testament, Jesus is described as our “great high priest.” Just like the priests in the ancient temple, Jesus is called by God and shows us that he is offering a sacrifice to God for us — but instead of sacrificing an animal, he makes the only possible perfect sacrifice: himself.

The writer of Hebrews explains that Jesus is able to understand our sins because he, too, was human. Jesus was tempted by power, he lost his patience, and he sometimes wanted to turn and run from what God was asking him to do. For me, knowing this means that I can confess my own sins to Jesus without shame. There is nothing that will surprise him and no temptation he cannot understand — because he’s been there, too.

Catherine Healy

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Pray

Almighty God, I know that Jesus has delivered me from my sins, once and for all. Deal gently with me and help me face the sins in my life, so that I can truthfully confess them and be free of them forever. Amen.

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Go

When the dreams you’re dreamin’ come to you,

when the work you put in is realized,

let yourself feel the pride,

but always stay humble and kind.

from “Humble and Kind” by Lori McKenna (2015)

Catherine Healy

Rev. Catherine Healy is the assistant rector at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Wellesley, Massachusetts. She is always up for a bike ride, and shares life with her spouse and two cats. You can find her online at www.rockthatcollar.com.

Come Thou Fount

Jim McConnell

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