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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Always Sinner...and ALWAYS Saint.

I've heard it twice in two days now.
See God in everything.
See Him in me, always.

My Christian doctrine teacher says that we Lutherans focus too much on our sinful natures.  But my husband whispered over to me, "Simul justus et peecator."  Simultaneously saint and sinner.  That's what we are.  But we, at least I, tend to focus so much more on the sinner, and discount the saint.

Today I read Ann's words in One Thousand Gifts, "Why do I reduce The Greatest to the lesser instead of seeing the lesser, this mess, as reflecting The Greatest?  I have to learn how to see, to look through to the Largeness behind all the smallness."

Even in my own sinfulness, I can see Christ.  Moreover, the new person in me--the sanctified, justified saint--is here ALL THE TIME.  Yes, the sinner is here all the time too.  But I am always holy.

My professor explained it this way.  "You don't always think about loving your husband, do you?  Love is often an unconscious decision.  You don't always think about serving God, either.  Are you serving God by being in class right now?"  I replied that yes, I guessed so.  "You are.  You might not realize it; you might not even be doing it intentionally.  But you are here to learn about the faith in order to be able to teach it better in your future ministry.  Your being here, respecting your teacher and your classmates, is following God's will.  You are being led by the Holy Spirit and you are being obedient to God just by being here."

That got me wondering how often I really am obeying God without realizing it!!  Is that not the epitome of grace: that he allows us to obey him without our knowledge, even as we so often sin without consciously deciding to.  Doing dishes is being obedient to God.  Bathing is being obedient to God.  Grocery shopping...doing homework...folding laundry...even sleeping!  All of these things are fulfilling God's will for me in one way or another.

So very often I am hard on myself for sinning so much.  But do I thank God that, by his grace, I am able to obey him so much?  I think we as Christians either give ourselves too much or too little credit.  We do sin much, yes.  But we do good things for God as well.

Most importantly:  we believe in God all the time.  Yes, faith is a gift, so we did not consciously choose to receive it.  But we don't have to consciously work to believe, either.  Believing in God makes us saints: his children, his chosen ones.  Since we believe all the time, we are saints, all the time.  

I have the power of the Holy Spirit living in me.

That never changes.

And just imagine...when we join Christ in heaven one day, we will lose the sinful side of ourselves, and be only saints.  Only holy.  Always obedient to Christ.

Can you just imagine how wonderful that will be?

1 comment:

  1. Yes! I LOVE it! Thank you for reminding me of this. I think the peace I was feeling yesterday grew from the kind of order I believe God wants for us--healthy, happy, order--the kind we get from doing the work of the dishes, the laundry. All of it "speaks" of our faith and is a way we can lend our hand to the good work of caring for a small part of the world He left us.


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