March 6th Lenten Devotional


Fire of Self-Righteousness

Rachel Wrenn

Luke 10:29-37

29 But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?…”

But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, “Will it really hurt, Jesus? Will it really do so much damage if I give mercy just to those I think deserve it?

But wanting to justify herself, she asked Jesus, “Do I really have to, Jesus? Those people, they’re just so WRONG; you don’t really want me to listen to them, right?”

But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, “How far do I have to go, Jesus? How much mercy is good enough?

Limits. Boundaries. Reasonable expectations. These are a few of my favorite things…and yet, Jesus consistently blows them out of the water. A friend of mine recently shared this quote, attributed to Augustin Craig White, from “The Dark Tower,” a pamphlet of the American Abolitionist Society, 1911: “It is a strange kind of fire, the fire of self-righteousness, which gives us such pleasure by its warmth, but does so little to banish the darkness.” When I am really, truly honest with myself, my favorite fires to set do much more to warm me than they do lighten the darkness of others. May we all be given the gift of grace, which both reveals our fires for the ash that they truly are and gives us in their place the flame of the Holy Spirit.


Rev. Rachel Wrenn served her first call in southwest Minnesota, “on the edge of the prairie.” She is currently pursuing her PhD in Hebrew Bible at Emory University in Atlanta, GA.


©2017 by individual authors and Facebook Narrative Lectionary Group.  This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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