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!