Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Wanting to "Look Good" for God

Today, I want to think about this piece of the Pentecost Sequence:

Heal our wounds, our strength renew
On our dryness, pour your dew
Wash the stains of guilt away

Lava quod est sordidum
Riga quod est aridum
Sana quod est saucium

The Latin is a bit more blunt: wash that which is dirty, water that which is dry, heal that which is wounded. I like that, perhaps because with use, the English has lost some of its punch for me in these lines. Jesus did not come for the (self-) righteous, but for sinners, and the better grasp we have on our need for God's mercy, the better shape we are in for receiving it. I'm not sure where we get this goofy religious idea that we have to try to "dress up nice" to present ourselves to God so that we will be acceptable to Him. Where's the logic there? God knows all (or He wouldn't be God) and can see through me and understand me better than I know myself. If I were perfect without God, I would be God myself. And last I checked, I am not uncaused being.

Quite often, when I am in the communion procession at Mass, I think of the hymn "Just As I Am."
Just as I am, without one plea
But that Thy blood was shed for me
And that Thou biddst me come to Thee
O Lamb of God, I come....
I come to Jesus because He asks me to come. He desires me to come. It isn't because I have something He needs or because He's going to put me in a line-up to choose someone who is good enough to be in His company. He wants me to come to Him because that is who He is.

And this bit of the Pentecost sequence reminds me of who I am: wounded, parched (unable to sustain or produce anything of life), and stained by my sin. But the Holy Spirit, Lord and Giver of Life, who binds Father and Son and sends the Son into the world, desires to come to me and change me into the very image of Christ: Whole and healing, with a stream of living water that brings life wherever it goes, made pure and bringing purity.

That's awesome.

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