Hi, I am a Sinner.
I wanted to make sure you knew that. I put the letters in bold, just in case you missed it. Just in case I did.
I may have given you the impression that I have it all together. Or maybe the secret was already out. Maybe you saw through the shined-up exterior to find the crud wedged into this two-faced heart.
You don’t always see the way I mess up on this side of the computer screen. But let me be frank: I am the wretch the song refers to.
The King has called a Banquet, and someone told me it was potluck. So I looked all over the house for something to bring, but the only thing I had to bring to the table was my own sin.
And the Host said that’s all He ever wanted. I knocked at the door, and He let me in anyway, with my sin in a covered-casserole dish.
Hi, I am a saint.
Those are harder words to write. I mean, who is holy enough to say something like that? A missionary in Uganda? The local preacher? The Pope?
Dare I call myself a saint? This woman who has goofed up too many times to count?
But I am. Sainthood does not rely on the merits of the individual, but on the identity found in Christ. I did nothing, just showed up with steaming sin at the table, fresh out of the oven.
Hi, I am Saint and Sinner.
I am living securely on this side of the Light, saint-side. Trouble is, I tend to keep one foot on the other side of the line, assuring my identity as sinner.
Like Paul, I am a new creation. But even Paul, toward the end of his ministry, called himself chief of all sinners.
What do I make of this?
“Simul iustus et peccator.” Those were the words Martin Luther wrote to identify human beings who are, at once, both saint and sinner.
Both wretched and loved.
Both ruined and re-created.
Both wrecked and received.
Broken, and bought back.
And how can I do anything but just weep the deepest gratitude toward the King? I don’t deserve to step one wretched toe in the door of the Banquet Hall, but He ushers me to a seat at the table. His banner over me is not shame, but love.
What do I do with a gift like that?
I can only say thank you to the King of Kings who takes me anyway, just as I am, but promises never to leave me that way.
“Here’s a word you can take to heart and depend on: Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. I’m proof—Public Sinner Number One—of someone who could never have made it apart from sheer mercy.”
— 1 Timothy 1:15
Writing in community with Michelle and Jen today …