Friday, March 13, 2009

March 13, 2009 "Now I see how you really are"

Jeremiah 5:5b “But they all alike had broken the yoke, they had burst the bonds.”

Romans 3:9 “What then? Are we any better off? No, not at all; for we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under the power of sin…”

John 5:39 “'You search the scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that testify on my behalf. 40Yet you refuse to come to me to have life…”

“You’re no good”
written by Clint Ballard, Jr.
© Edwin H Morris & Co Inc

Feeling better now that we're through
Feeling better 'cause I'm over you
I learned my lesson, it left a scar
Now I see how you really are

You're no good
You're no good
You're no good
Baby you're no good

Today’s lessons stack up to persuade me that the problems of the world start inside, not outside. Jeremiah looks for a good person, and finds that rich and poor alike are ignoring God. Paul charges that Jews and Gentiles are both caught in bondage under something he calls “the power of sin”. And Jesus tells the crowd that the one person they need help from, is the one person they refuse to ask.

This Easter we will be baptizing some folks here at Christ Church. One of the baptism vows is: “Do you renounce all sinful desires that draw you from the love of God?” The vows assume that the power of sin lives inside each of us.

The danger is to move from recognizing sin in others, and calling people to legalism instead of repentance. That is why earlier in the same letter Paul writes about circumcision. He himself knows how tempting it is to believe that because we do many good things, that we are good; or even worse, to believe that we are actually better than others.

In Psalm 69:6 & 7 the psalmist writes: “O God, you know my foolishness, and my faults are not hidden from you. Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me, Lord GOD of hosts; let not those who seek you be disgraced because of me, O God of Israel.”

God wants us to recognize both our good and our evil impulses and to live is such a way that we seek to do good, seek justice, love mercy, and when we fail in these, repent and return to the Lord.

Let not those who seek you be disgraced because of me, O God of Israel. Amen.

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