The Name of God is Mercy is a book I’d highly recommend. It’s a collection of interviews with Pope Francis, as he named 2016 “the year of mercy.” I have zero history with the Catholic church, and yet his thoughts on confession stir me to desire accountability, and remind me of my human frailty. Catholicism’s view of man seems to me to be grounded in sin too much – we must not forget that the cross nullified our old sinful man and made us alive with Christ, fully made right before him, and we are called to walk by the spirit and forget our old nature. While I no longer identify as a sinner, but as righteous before God, I don’t want to lose the humility that Pope Francis embodies as he remembers he is but dust, prone to wander. The foot of the cross – what a beautiful place that is. A place to bow low and remember my deep need for a Savior, to find myself purely within him.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
All have sinned, and all fall short of the glory of God.
It occurs to me that these are not necessarily one in the same. I have sin, and I have short-fallings, and they are both beneath His glory. And for both I can come to the cross.
Do I sin? Yes. Unbelief is pervasive, and it is sin. But examining my heart, I can find plenty of places that are not sinful, and yet they fall short. There is lack. [I believe, God – help me in my unbelief.] This makes sense – while I don’t walk around thinking of all my sin, I do walk around thinking of all my shortcomings, and so I am self-focused and starving for a taste of glory. Mercy is for that, too. Here again I do not deserve to stand before Him righteous, and yet He has made a way.
His mercy and grace covers over my sin, AND it fills all my lack.
Do you identify with falling short? I think it’s something we can address with our Good Father. I don’t think He wants us to live from a place of lack any more than He wants us living from a place of sin. He has justified all of it. Freely.
Oh God, I have fallen short. Father, I am empty. I am not enough. I am low, very short indeed when compared to your glory.
I come to you desperate for your filling grace. I am face to face with failure. But how do YOU see me? Is this identity up for trade, too? You no longer see me as a sinner, but a righteous little Jesus who still sins sometimes. Is it true – you no longer see me as fallen short, but a righteous little Jesus who is perfect and complete, lacking in nothing? Filled up to the fullness of God? Would you do that for me again, here in this place where my emptiness is exhausting?
I give you my fallings short, God. I trade them in. Where I end, may you begin – and may that ending point be sooner rather than later. I need you and your righteousness, your more than enough. I invite you to fill every cavern and high hill of my heart that has fallen short. I look to see evidence of your fullness! Your provision! Filled up to all the fullness of God, justified freely by your grace. In You I am clean and in You I am enough – because it’s all Jesus.