March 28

“…sinful at birth.”

Scripture: Psalm 51:5

 5 Surely I was sinful at birth,
       sinful from the time my mother conceived me.

Reader: This is the word of the Lord.   Response: Thanks be to God.

Good grief, what chance do we have?!  As a friend of mine truthfully said, “There is very little ‘original’ sin. We’re just recycling!”  From the beginning we are sinners. Did you have to teach your children to say “MINE!”? I rest my case. You may have a translation that reads “In sin did my mother conceive me.”  The translation above is a far better, more accurate translation. Conception is not sin! This passage means that we are part of the fallen human race. David writes in another Psalm (143:2) “for no living thing is righteous before you.”  No one has ever gotten it right with a single exception, and in that Exception is our salvation. Have you read the paper? Have you kept track of the news? We are more self-absorbed than ever. We are not getting better as a human race. It is not “we are part of the problem, we are part of the solution.” Not true! We have abundant evidence that knowing what is right to do surprisingly does not equate with doing right. It is clearly not a matter of education or understanding or more case studies. We are an intrinsically flawed race. Can you think of some times when you knew what was right to do and didn’t do it?  Again, I rest my case! In this world we have battles, battles against flesh and blood. In some ways the season of Lent is a little like our world. Let me give us an illustration borrowed by the late Oscar Cullmann. He likened the present struggles to those of World War II. On D-Day, June 6, 1944 the Allies broke the back of the Germans when they stormed the beaches at Normandy. The next eleven months were fierce mop up battles in which the Allies prevailed. But it wasn’t until May 8 of 1945 that we got to V-Day and the peace treaty was signed. We live in such a time of mop up battles. We win some, we lose some, but victory is assured! Christ’s victory on the cross broke the back of sin, death, and the power of evil. But Christ’s return and the setting up of his eternal kingdom is yet to come and so we have intermittent battles with sin and evil though their doom is sure! Continue to wage war. Win your battles today. The word is your weapon and the Holy Spirit is your invincible ally.  

Music: “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”   Dan Forrest    Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Brass   Matt Boswell

Prayer:  Blessed are all thy Saints, O God and King, who have engaged in the tempestuous battles of this mortal life, and have made the haven of peace and felicity. Watch over us who are still in our dangerous skirmishes; and remember such as lie exposed to the rough engagements of trouble and temptations. Frail is our strength, and the battles fierce; but as in thy mercy thou hast set our path to walk bearing the armour of thy Holy Spirit toward the everlasting paradise of peace, and bring us at length to the quiet haven of our heart’s desire, where thou, O our God, are blessed, and livest and reignest for ever and ever.
St. Augustine, 345-430 AD adapted D.S.