Sunday nights, we have been exploring the reality of our brokenness and where that comes from. It doesn’t take a detective to understand that we don’t function as we should. Something is wrong with us, inside. We don’t like talking like this. If it were up to us, we’d switch the narrative and buy into the Oprah-ology of the day and say, “Oh no, we’re good to the core and become bad by environment.” Psalm 51 says something different, in that Psalm David even says, “In sin did my mother CONCEIVE me. Surely, I was brought forth in iniquity.”
Want a classic example of this? I saw my 2 year old son do something that would bring him embarrassment, but wasn’t sinful per se. He didn’t see me view him have this accident. So I approached the subject…”Thomas, did you ______?”
“Are you sure, it’s okay to tell me…you won’t be in trouble.”
“No daddy, I want mommy.”
For about 30 minutes he didn’t want anything to do with me and hid under his mom’s legs. Why? He felt shame and on top of that, he lied about it to me. There is a standard somehow his little 2 year old mind knows about and he broke that standard. That wasn’t the end…
He became agitated at me asking that I go away. We finally got to the point where talked about his accident and he fessed up to it. And what about afterwards?
Full fellowship, “Daddy lets play.”
And that’s the exact same thing we read about in the garden of Eden. “Adam, where are you?”
We are born like this, and as good as pop psychology tries, it can’t quite explain this . We are broken. We come here broken and we act out of that brokenness.
I love Dr. Micheal Horton’s words here, “Paul and his fellow apostles knew that they were by nature— like the rest of us—bent in on themselves. And picking up on a phrase from Augustine, the Protestant Reformers said that as fallen sinners we are all “curved in on ourselves.” Born with a severe case of spiritual scoliosis, our spines are twisted so that all we can see are our own immediate felt needs, desires, wants, and momentary gratifications.” Did you pick up on that? All we can see are our own me-ness.
Enter the gospel, the good news declared for us. Again, Dr. Horton writes, “It is interesting that the biblical writers chose the word “gospel.” The heart of most religions is good advice, good techniques, good programs, good ideas, and good support systems. These drive us deeper into ourselves, to find our inner light, inner goodness, inner voice, or inner resources. I just hear echoes of my own voice telling me all sorts of crazy things to numb my sense of fear, anxiety, and boredom, the origins of which I cannot truly identify. But the heart of Christianity is Good News. It comes not as a task for us to fulfill, a mission for us to accomplish , a game plan for us to follow with the help of life coaches, but as a report that someone else has already fulfilled, accomplished, followed, and achieved everything for us. It’s Good News because it does not depend on us. It is about God and his faithfulness to his own purposes and promises.”
It is only through the work of Christ for us that we dare stand fully accepted and declared, “My child in whom I am well pleased.” This Christmas season, remember Christ came to do something for us we could never ever dare do for ourselves, and because of that work- we can come out of the dark and say, “Daddy, let’s play.”