Okay, so it’s late, and I’m sick (sinuses/chest/bleck) but I can’t sleep.  So I’m hashing some spiritual stuff over in my mind, in preparation for meeting with the SD tomorrow.  Not that I “should” prepare, but it’s fitting ponderings for that type of conversation, so I was being a little more intentional about connecting some dots, and identifying the questions to explore more deeply.

And you, my dear readers, aren’t privy to ALL of those ponderings of the heart/soul. <smile>

But as I was pondering, it occurred to me that with little tweaking of these late night ponderings, I could pelt out a quick followup post to the mini-rant about the Episcopal Rite 1 Confession of Sin that *could* be blogged upon.

Here’s the deal.  I’m only too aware of how frequently I sin.  Sin=separation from God, the whole things done and left undone, in thought, word, and deed bit.  Yup.  I “suck” truthfuly.  We all do of course, and intellectually I’m quite aware of that, and I am further aware that I could be nothing more than an inadequate & sinful being, not being God and all.  Do I find that comforting and reassuring?  Not especially.  No, in the still, quiet hours when I go before my Lord, I “know” and believe that he loves me [us] for my [our] good intentions and even forgives us when our intentions themselves are impure/self-centered and we return to him to express our genuine sorrow.

That knowledge that I will always be a [forgiven!!] sinner do not help reassure me.  I want to be better.  I want to not be a sinner.  <sigh>  It is becoming my conclusion that a return to prayer for repeated gentle, loving confrontations of my human imperfection will result in, maybe partially in this life, and if not in the next, a bathing in a more full recognition of God’s love and forgiveness.  I believe this, but I do not in any way feel this.

Enter in good ol’ Rite 1 and its statement that I as a feckless sinner have provoked God’s wrath and indignation.  Harumph!  That is not helpful to me, and in a weaker state of mind than I currently find myself in (maybe you find yourself there?) downright hurtful and decidedly unhelpful.  I sin, I do not do the things I have a hunch God would want me to do.  I do some things that probably make God cringe in disappointment, but wrath?  Indignation?  I do not mean to diminish my sinfulness, indeed a spot where Rite 1 gets it right, there is a pervasive sense that my sin is an intolerable burden (i.e. drives me CRAZY “to do those things I hate”), and I wish God would work a little quicker to “fix me up” to be that which he calls me to be.  But I must land on the side of those saints and Saints which insist to me that God is all love and mercy (and most assuredly NOT wrath and indignation) to those who are trying their best. (specifically at this moment I am praying with a devotional of writings from Therese of Lisieux.)  I hope that you will embrace that belief in God’s love and mercy, too, if you find yourself in relationships or church bodies that would try to tell you otherwise!

Okay, rant mode off.  May you have peace in your heart.


3 Responses to Sinfulness

  1. Satchel Pooch says:

    Have you read “Stealing Jesus”? I found it a very helpful exposition of the difference between the Church of Law (whereby comes the sin => God’s wrath equation) and the Church of Love (source of your enviable conviction of God’s forgiveness and mercy). The longer I go on, the less reconcilable these two views seem.

  2. karla says:

    Hmm. I think I started reading “Stealing Jesus” once. I’m having trouble remembering for sure…seems vaguely familiar?

    Before writing this comment, I went to an online book review of it, which quoted very liberally from what appears to be the introduction, including the author’s distinctions between the Church of Law and Church of Love.

    Yup, I guess I fall firmly on the side of the Church of Love. I happen to think my Roman Catholic upbringing (as expressed in my locality at least!) tried its genuinely honest best to strike a balance between those. But you’re exactly right, it’s tough, darned tough to succeed at striking that kind of balance. They do seem irreconcilable as I think on it now, and yet, somehow my childhood brain/heart/soul absorbed and embraced a little of each and didn’t work it out for an owned faith understanding until my adulthood foray into Episcopalianism. Maybe that ownership could have happened in a Catholic church, had I stayed, maybe not??? Either way I’m here now, and a hearty thanks be to God for it and the conviction that is still a work in progress! (how’s that for some out-of-character Episcopalian “testimony”? ha ha!!!)

    Actually, this is bordering on the length of a new post, but my favorite distinction the author makes between the Church of Law and Church of Love is the according varying emphases on the Great Commission vs The Greatest Commandment. (in this case the commandment is more characteristic of **non**-legalistic expression of Christianity: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your mind, and with all your soul, and love your neighbor as yourself.) (head nodding in enthusiastic Yes, Amen…)

  3. […] “God’s Messenger” => “Church of Love.” As I said in a comment to Karla’s post on “Sinfulness,” the longer I go on the less reconcilable these two views […]

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