Out of the Depths I cry to you, O Lord; Lord hear my voice! Let your ear be attentive to the voice of my plea for mercy!
If you O Lord kept a record of sin, O Lord who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness that you may be feared.
Forgive the paraphrase. It is from my heart. Yet it did not begin there. It was put there, breathed there. So I exhale it in a long staggering, sobbing breath for I have no words left.
I try to communicate, but succeed in nothing. I am trying so hard. When I finally find words, they are misunderstood, and I break. I have no strength that lies in me.
Though I do not feel it, I must respond, "Thanks be to God." If my healing lay in my striving, all would be lost. But Christ is my healing and my strength.
So tonight, I will simply say what is true.
Christ is God.
Christ died for me.
Christ feeds me with himself.
God makes me his child.
I am not guilty.
I look at myself and see bigotry, pride, and rude offenses against others. In horror at my own image, I try harder and harder to rid myself of these stains. But the harder I strive, I simply hear those who are close to me now convicting me once again. So let me stop trying to defend myself.
It is also true that I am insensitive to the feelings of others. I have made my objection known during conversation by my rude mannerisms. I have indicted the views of others both intentionally and unintentionally in my words. I have refused to listen with humility and an open mind. And there is more, much deeper and worse. It is all true. I now stop denying it.
Yet Christ is truer still. He is not insensitive, rude, quarrelsome, condemning. Neither am I. He is humble. He did not deny or become defensive when guilt was found in him (even though the source of the guilt was not in him but in me). So I am perfect. I am Christ's. I look like him. Nothing will snatch me away from his hand. He gives me his righteousness in place of my stains rags and he gives me his flesh and blood in place of my putrid flesh and blood. Now will my whole spirit, soul, and body be sound and blameless at his coming. Indeed they are. Even as I weep for my sin that divides me from my brothers and sisters, I am as holy in body and soul as Christ.
You may find those statements arrogant. You may find them obnoxious. You may even resent them. You may feel as if I am degrading your views in some way or calling you "unchristian".
Then let me then be arrogant! Let me boast in the Cross of Christ! It may be foolishness. It may be idiocy, but it is the power of God unto Salvation.
Now I must turn off my computer. There is more....There is always more....