Posted by: pmarkrobb | December 3, 2017

Came

We have entered another season of Advent.  Is it just me, or does the last one seem like it happened just a month or so ago?  Oh how I love this season, and the one that prepares us to remember and celebrate the death, burial and resurrection of our precious Savior.  “It is Finished!” could not be shouted absent the story’s humble beginning.  The Cross is incomplete without the cradle.

Today, we begin walking intentionally toward the celebration of Jesus’ first coming.  Coming … this is the literal translation of the word “Advent.”  This year, as we journey through the season of Advent, I would like to consider the three tenses of that translated word.

Came.  Come.  Coming.

I believe there is great significance in these three words that represent the past, present and future tense of the same word.  Let’s begin this week with the word “Came.”

It’s been quite a week.  Right smack in the middle of it we heard of two high-profile firings of notable public figures, both on the very same day.  Men accused of the same sort of indecency and unwelcome behavior as so many others before them.  One of those men has had a unique intersection with my own story.  My uncle and I had, for five consecutive years, made a seventeen hour driving trip to St. Paul, MN once a year to attend the season-opening performance of a Prairie Home Companion.  PHC is a weekly Saturday evening radio show that airs on National Public Radio.  It was a treasured and highly anticipated trip, and the show and its leading man were about as Americana as you could get.

When I heard the news Wednesday, I would characterize my reaction as saddened, heading in the direction of shocked.  But as I took the first few steps on that journey, I had the great fortune of a prompting from the Spirit.  I began to see my own face as I stared into the face of Mr. Keillor.  His forlorn expression carried the weight of my own sin.  While I may not be guilty of the same offense (if it is proven as it has been accused), I am equally guilty.

It is understandable to be outraged and offended with each new breaking story of this terrible, systemic evil.  Yet I believe there is something far more truthful and powerful that should challenge every Christ-follower’s sense of outrage and offense and turn their focus inward.

“This is me, and this is why He came.”

Why should we think that the sin of any of these men is “more sinful” than any of our own in the eyes of God?  Does the Bible say that one sin is worse than any other?  Scripture is clear that there is only one which is unforgivable (Mark 3:28-30), and that some have greater consequence in this life, but it does not tell of a sliding scale of sin.  Scripture is also very clear in saying, “for ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23 with my own emphasis added).

I will certainly not speak for you, or the Church at large, but for me, this is my response to Garrison, Matt and all the others before them …

“Me too.”

I am not being clever or cute … please hear that.  I know the hashtag.  I have deep respect for those showing genuine and profound courage in declaring #MeToo in response to the great injury and injustice they suffered.  I say “Me too.” with great gravity in joining ALL who have sinned at the base of the Cross — the only place where the cure for evil and everyone’s sin is found.  Only the blood of Jesus covers.  Only the blood of Jesus cures.  Only the blood of Jesus heals.  My brothers and sisters, “Me too. This is why He came.”

It is expected that people will step to the bully pulpit and pound out their outrage.  May I be found on my knees saying, “Yes, Lord. Me too. I cannot thank You loud enough or long enough for the grace and mercy You lavishly pour out as Your first and only response to my confession of sin.  This is why You came, Jesus.  You are the Great Healer for the one who is sick and the Great Shepherd for the one who is lost.”

How powerful would our witness be if you and I chose that posture and prayer?  How much more powerful in doing it together as His hands and feet.

ALL have sinned and fall short.  This is why He came.


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