For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love towards those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far he removes our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion for his children,
so the Lord has compassion for those who fear him.
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.’
We are more than qualified to stand as fellow sinners with the people of our towns and cities, our nations and our world. And so we sincerely pray, "Have mercy on us, a sinful people." We already live in the consequences of the piled-up sins of many generations and we see no easy way out of our predicament. We are desperate for your mercy, but not despairing. Move, in great mercy, upon us O God! Send a message to men, women and children that you yearn to embrace them with a love as large as the sky. When you ask us to be the one who bears the message, may we be quick to respond. Amen