A Pharisee was praying; he proudly stood alone:
"God, thank you that I'm better than others I have known."
He saw the faults of others, yet in that holy place,
He missed the joy and wonder of God's amazing grace.
Far off in that same Temple, a tax collector stood.
He knew he was a sinner; he knew that God is good.
"Have mercy, God, upon me!" the tax collector cried.
He left that place of worship forgiven, justified.
O God of love, forgive us when we look all around
And think that, by our actions, we stand on solid ground:
We pray, "See how we serve you! We work and volunteer!
Aren't we the ones whose giving builds up your kingdom here?"
May we, your church, be humble in serving you each day,
For pride will never help us to walk your kingdom-way.
May we know your forgiveness — our need for mercy, too —
That, loved and loving others, our life may be in you.