12 June 2011

Church

Church today was awesome.
It didn't start out very well, though.  
Theo was freaking out because his jeans didn't feel right and his freaking out was so frustrating that I was beginning to get angry with him.  John was away preaching in Rhode Island, so it was all on me to talk Theo down.
After some tense moments and cajoling to go to his Sunday school class, he calmed down and was able to get through the morning.  But I was left a guilty mess for my harshness with him and my deep investment in my own comfort and will.
The confession left me wiping away tears.  I was longing for some kind of hope in the sermon, and most definitely in the Lord's Supper.
Why is it that I always feel like my sin is hanging out for all to see when I'm at church? 
Anyone else feel that way?  Is it just that church is a place where we tend to keep up appearances?  I feel sure that I have no appearance to keep up.  I'm a wreck.
The sermon, from I John, just about undid me.  During this sermon series, I keep hearing the voice of the apostle John, as he writes this letter as a very, very old man.  He has seen it all.  He was there at the foot of the cross; he has had the vision while on the island of Patmos.  Now he is writing to the believers so they would be sure of all they know about the Lord.
Here's the part that really got me.
I John 2:1a  My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. 
Okay, stop.  I'm already in trouble.  Because I?  I sin.  I sin every day and I'm having a really hard time stopping.  But now hear this:
I John 2:1b But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
Oh blessed relief!  We have an advocate for anyone who does sin!  And we know that an advocate argues on the basis of justice for the accused.  A lawyer doesn't come into court and say, "Your honor, actually my client is guilty.  But would you just please have mercy on her?  She's really a pretty nice person."
Ridiculous!  A lawyer says, "My client is innocent.  And here is why."  
I John 2:2 He is the propitiation for our sins, and not ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
If we are in Christ, we are declared innocent on the basis of JUSTICE.  God is not doing us a favor; if we are in Christ, then Jesus Christ the righteous is our advocate and makes us innocent.
As we sang this morning in a hymn, "Because the sinless Savior died, my sinful soul is counted free, for God the just is satisfied to look on Him and pardon me."
Such deep truths are almost too much for me.  I feel like I need to keep telling them to myself because I so easily forget and begin to despair.
Be encouraged, friends!  The Father knows our weakness and has graciously made a way for the likes of us.  
May that thought carry us through the coming week as we abide in Him!

4 comments:

  1. Amen from this corner as well. And I know that Sunday morning struggle as well. Almost seems as though an enemy wants to convince us we're not worthy to come into God's presence. Or something.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Amen from this corner as well. This is truely a great teaching. Thanks Kit for putting flesh to the scriptures.
    I remember when your husband was growing up with his big sister and younger brother and it would be horrible getting ready for church---we would all be mad and get out of the car at church with a smile and a "Great" to answer the question of "Hi, How are you?" from others headed into church. Thank you Jesus for covering our sin.

    I used to tell the kids to give me fake joy instead of honest anger. I did not care if it was fake because it just might catch on.

    I am grateful that with Jesus we do not have to fake it. He can take our anger or depression and turn it into real joy.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you so much, ladies.
    Nancy, you're right, it feels like we have some sort of...I don't know...enemy.
    Judy, I've passed on to my kids "Fake it til you make it" because you're right...it just might catch on!
    Love you, friends!

    ReplyDelete

I love knowing you've been here! Let's have a conversation.