Sunday, April 17, 2011

Make Us This Kind of People Lord!

"May a merciful God preserve me from a Christian Church in which everyone is a saint! I want to be and remain in the church and little flock of the fainthearted, the feeble and the ailing, who feel and recognize the wretchedness of their sins, who sigh and cry to God incessantly for comfort and help, who believe in the forgiveness of sins."
--Martin Luther, in Luther’s Works (St. Louis, 1957), XXII:55.
Only a week ago I wrote an email to a friend here in Nairobi echoing this very prayer. But Luther says it much better than I could.

Amen, brother. Amen.


LEN said...

It's too bad that "saint" is commonly used to describe those who act like both the Pharisee and the tax collector in Luke 18...

pilgriminconflict said...

I take it you are implying that the only saint in Luke 18 is the tax collector?

LEN said...

Before I answer your question, let me clarify that I meant that, as used by the world and sometimes by believers, "saint" is often misused. Paul accurately described the church at Corinth as those "called to be saints", yet their behavior and attitudes were often not "saintly" (common usage again) - and by a wide margin.

To get back to your question, yes. Jesus said that only the tax collector went home justified, therefore he was the only saint in that parable. But not because of his actions or words -- his actions and words simply revealed a heart that recognized his own sin and inability to stand before God based on his own merits.