Tuesday, Fourth Week of Lent March 16, 2021

Prayer pointers:

For God’s love to shine through you

To walk without stumbling

For the Spirit that helps us see the truth

Today’s text: Romans 7:13-25

FATHER BROWN, THE DELIGHTFUL protagonist of G.K. Chesterton’s detective series, is asked by another character how it is that he gets “inside” criminals so well as to understand their motivation. In the course of explaining his method, Father Brown tells his questioner that the only real hope any of us have in stopping criminals is to capture “one criminal…and [keep that one] safe and sane under your own hat.”

What Father Brown means is we should be very careful, even wary of our own virtue or blamelessness. It is easy to condemn others; it is hard to grapple with what St. Paul sees as the yawning gap between “what is right” and “what I do.” This does not mean that we should turn our eyes from the wrong others do; we have a Godly duty to defend our neighbors! But we should also guard against the idea that evil is only elsewhere, that sin is someone else’s problem, and that if we only took care of “those people” then all would be right. There will always be the lawbreaker that whistles happily under your own hat.

May your day be grace-filled ~ Pr. Dave Brooks


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