August 11th, 2004


God on trial

We must be merciful to God’s reputation. It is easy for us to tarnish God’s character because He never argues back; He never tries to defend or vindicate Himself.

Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest (10 August,"The Holy Suffering of the Saint")

Despite my seemingly insatiable desire for crap in my life (e.g., last night's entry on reality TV), there's a twinge of encouragement when I notice that there are some destructive things of which I'm simply tired. God's contstant status as defendant in the court of human affairs is one.

Make no mistake—I am exceedingly grateful to have a God to whom I can cry out in confusion, who can bear my frustrations with grace and love. Nor do I take issue with questioning Him to know Him better—that's a vital process of the examined life, and I'd be concerned for anyone who doesn't do this, or who ever stops. He can handle all of that, without a doubt. Indeed, He invites it.

He isn't, however, a concept to be picked apart. He is God. If He's getting more of my questions than my worship, I have misunderstood who He is and who I am. When that goes further and He is indicted on charges born of my discontentment, that misunderstanding has begun to bloom into subtle rebellion.

God has responded to all the unfair accusations on the cross. Every one. On that cross, Jesus cried out, "Tetelestai!" ("It is finished!" or "Paid in full!"). And by the resurrection the Father has declared Jesus not guilty, now and for eternity. That He shares this verdict with me and makes me not guilty in the same stroke is mercy beyond comprehension. Perhaps this is why I shudder when He is dragged back into court daily. We are the only guilty ones, and look what He did with that!

He is so patient with us.
  • Current Mood
    grateful grateful

Confessions of the interior

When I received the Confession of Sin John wrote for this Sunday, I had to wonder if he's been looking into my soul:
Father in heaven, we like to think of ourselves as people who have it together.
But our anger exposes who we really are.

We pout and sulk when things do not go our way, because we think we are wiser than you.
We lash out in our bitterness, because we think our rage is needed to heal the world.
We hold smoldering grudges against those who have wronged us, because we think we are more pure than them.
We hold others in contempt, because we think we are far more enlightened than they are.

This is who we are, our Father.
An arrogant, desperate, proud, bitter and lonely people.
We have only one hope: that you overpower our anger with your love.
That you speak tenderly to us at the very core of our being.
That you heal our deep wound with the broken body and shed blood of your Son, Jesus Christ.
Forgive us and heal us, for Jesus' sake. Amen.
  • Current Music
    Taizé, "Bless the Lord"