Jeremiah 14:7-10;19-22; Psalm 84:1-7; 2 Timothy 4:6-8; 16-18; Luke 18:9-14
Aubrey, the Thursday morning boot camp instructor at LA Fitness, said yesterday that we’re not afraid of change or what it takes to make it happen which is why we come to boot camp. That was right before some body changing torture disguised as exercise. When in the middle of a leg numbing lift your boot camp instructor cries out, “Oh my GOODNESS!!!” you think to yourself I’ve changed enough, thank you very much. The lessons for Pentecost 22c are about the change which comes only when one does the hard work to make it so. The children of Israel doing the hard work of honest confession set their hope once again in the God they had forsaken. The Psalmist having come through the Valley of Tears is strong in the Lord because of it. Paul, experiencing hardship, desertion and attack has none-the-less fought the good fight and finished the race. And though the tax collector is lifted up and the Pharisee brought low both, perhaps, are in need of change; the Pharisee a change of heart and the tax collector a change of behavior. That kind of hard work always leads one to cry out “Oh, my goodness!” which is as much a prayer as it is an exclamation.