Monday, October 14, 2013

Fallen: A Good Person in a Good World with Issues

Today, my favorite pastor preached a sermon entitled "Issues."

He read us Psalm 51:

A David Psalm, After He Was Confronted by Nathan About the Affair with Bathsheba

51 1-3 Generous in love—God, give grace!
    Huge in mercy—wipe out my bad record.
Scrub away my guilt,
    soak out my sins in your laundry.
I know how bad I’ve been;
    my sins are staring me down.
4-6 You’re the One I’ve violated, and you’ve seen
    it all, seen the full extent of my evil.
You have all the facts before you;
    whatever you decide about me is fair.
I’ve been out of step with you for a long time,
    in the wrong since before I was born.
What you’re after is truth from the inside out.
    Enter me, then; conceive a new, true life.
7-15 Soak me in your laundry and I’ll come out clean,
    scrub me and I’ll have a snow-white life.
Tune me in to foot-tapping songs,
    set these once-broken bones to dancing.
Don’t look too close for blemishes,
    give me a clean bill of health.
God, make a fresh start in me,
    shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life.
Don’t throw me out with the trash,
    or fail to breathe holiness in me.
Bring me back from gray exile,
    put a fresh wind in my sails!
Give me a job teaching rebels your ways
    so the lost can find their way home.
Commute my death sentence, God, my salvation God,
    and I’ll sing anthems to your life-giving ways.
Unbutton my lips, dear God;
    I’ll let loose with your praise.
16-17 Going through the motions doesn’t please you,
    a flawless performance is nothing to you.
I learned God-worship
    when my pride was shattered.
Heart-shattered lives ready for love
    don’t for a moment escape God’s notice.
18-19 Make Zion the place you delight in,
    repair Jerusalem’s broken-down walls.
Then you’ll get real worship from us,
    acts of worship small and large,
Including all the bulls
    they can heave onto your altar!
 He told us we were good people, because we are created in God's image, and He called us good. With issues.

We live in a good world-- that God created, and He called it good. With issues.

We live with other people; people God created, people God called good. With issues.

And He explained that God loves us, and His world, and His other people-- with our issues. It's not even something He has to tolerate. He sees our ashy issues as something that He can turn into beauty.

And it's those very issues-- those very inclinations, sin-cycles, personality traits that you try to change-- that He wants from you.

"Bring them to Me," He pleads. Only He can see the beauty in the broken pieces now... Only He can know how Only He can work.

But if you bring Him your issues, He'll let you in on it... He'll show you the picture too.
He might flip the canvas around every once in a while so you can watch His progress.
He might let you sit at the Potter's Wheel, seeing His whole artistic process.
He might let you read bits and pieces of the saga, leaving you guessing as to the end.
But someday, I believe, He'll show you the Big Picture... His masterpiece of you... His mosaic of your issues.

Shared with Michelle DeRusha.