Thursday, 11 October 2007

Healing the Deep Wound

"One thing, and one thing only is necessary for life, rightness with God and genuine freedom.
This one thing is the Good news of Jesus Christ, the resurrection and the life, who sets us free". Martin Luther - Freedom.

I know it's pretty silly and somewhat stereotypical, but I must admit I have something of a soft spot for the movie, City Slickers, not least because of Billy Crystal's funny but poignant portrayal of a middle-aged man still looking to find himself.

One of the best aspects of the tale is this character's inter-action with Curly (Jack Palance) - a genuine, seemingly hard as iron Cowboy that is the last of his kind. When the two men work together to save the life of a calf at birth, Curly relates how the secret of life 'is just one thing' - only when you find that can you truly be yourself.

During the days of the Reformation when Luther was incarcerated in the Wartburg, he received a letter from his friend, Phillip Melanchthon. This brilliant young scholar was filled with doubts about his own standing, whether he was truly a man of faith, and what he could do about his concerns. Luther wrote back a historic note that echoes down the ages:

"Melanchthon, go and sin bravely - then go to the cross and bravely confess it -
the whole gospel is outside of us". Here, Luther nails that 'one thing' that makes us complete.

In his letter to the Romans, Paul tells us that Abraham was made right before God by just one thing - he trusted in the character of God and the promises that God made, and as a result, was deemed righteous. The need we all share is a life that encounters this God - a creator who extends grace and mercy to us in our day of need - to place our trust in Him.
We can then truly discover that God justifies - even when we are sinful or deem ourselves unworthy.

To borrow another famous TV phrase, The Truth is out there...

No comments: