Monday, March 29, 2010


For Holy Week, one more Lenten re-post, from March of 2008. . . ------------------------- During Lent, I am struck again and again with the conviction that the Christian life is a lot more serious than I generally treat it as being. It is so easy to play at Christianity – to talk the jargon, do the theology, know the Scriptures, even – to get real good at the outward appearances, but miss the inner transformation, the knowledge of God. ------------------------- “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of my Father in Heaven.” (Matthew 7:21) “We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us” (from The Weight of Glory, by CS Lewis) Alas; and I am the most half-hearted of all. I cannot escape the conviction that God is in deadly earnest about a way of life that I’m content to dabble in at my leisure. But – “When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die.” (from The Cost of Discipleship, by Dietrich Bonhoeffer) I just want to drop the pretenses. I know who I am before God; I’m certainly not fooling God. “Before Him no creature is hidden, but all are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.” (Hebrews 4:13) ------------------------- O Lord, have mercy. I may fool myself, but I don’t fool you. You “discern the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12); “you know my inmost being” (ref. Psalm 139:13-16). Alas, alas. "Woe is me, for I am undone!" (Isaiah 6:5). Not a pretty picture, is it? And yet you won’t let go of me; you won’t leave me to my own devices, no matter how half-hearted I am. O Lord, I only want to know you. And yet I find that the biggest obstacle to my knowing you is. . . myself. I ought to pray, but I am irresolute. Too often, I go through the motions, “warmed from without, but not aflame within” (Imitation of Christ 3:2). And yet, O Lord, you call me on, for reasons I can’t discern, except that your love and mercy are unfathomable. . . ------------------------- (edit April 1; Holy Thursday) A couple more related passages have come to my mind: "I do not understand my own actions, for I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. . . For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is the very thing I keep on doing. . . Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? But thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!" (St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans, chapter 7) "These two things I know - that I am a great sinner, and that Christ is a great Savior." (John Newton, author of the hymn Amazing Grace) And that about sums it up. . .


  1. Sometimes 'life' gets in the way of 'life,' doesn't it?

    I like to remember that Jesus walked the Earth as man, he had parents, friends, hunger, pain, sorrow. He gets us and His grace is enough.

  2. My thoughts have been echoing around the same space as yours, it seems. Although I'm not brave enough to voice them out into reality, where I can read my words and hear myself speak them and know that my thoughts are meant to be more than just Thoughts.

    maybe soon.

  3. Cocotte - "He gets us." I like that. . .

    "For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin." (Hebrews 4:15)

    And His grace is a very good thing. . .

    Flutter - Well, you know, the closer we get to the pulsating, glowing core of God's Holiness, the more there's just this instinct that "I don't belong here; it's not safe."

    "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God." (Hebrews 10:31)

    "Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!" (Luke 5:8)

    And yet, what Cocotte says above is true - even so, He 'gets us', and He bids us come to Him. Fearsome thought. . .

  4. And sometimes, it's reassuring to know there is the One, that we not only don't have to "keep up appearances", but that we *can't*- or it is, to me :)

  5. Sailor - Indeed. 'Keeping up Appearances' is a losing game, for sure. . .

  6. looks like blogger ate my comment...sigh.

    basically, i idnentify heavily with that lat passage in romans.

    happy easter.

  7. Suldog - And the same to you, bro. . .

    Lime - Doggone Blogger. . .

    I, too, have identified with that passage. Something about "WTH? I don't do what I wanna do, and I do what I don't wanna do. . ." just resonates with my experience. . .

    And a very happy and blessed Easter to you and your family. . .