Grant, O Lord, that as we are baptized into the death of they blessed Son our Saviour Jesus Christ, so by continual mortifying our corrupt affections we may be buried with him; and that through the grave, and gate of death, we may pass to our joyful resurrection; for his merits, who died, and was buried, and rose again for us, they Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Easter-Even, The Collect.
None of us are good. No one one is.
As we approached the darkest of this shared season of Lent, we touched the deepest, most intimate wrong buried in of our human hearts. Good, the lie that we are okay, can make it out on our own and all we need, all we want dwells within us.
The serpent hiss, perverted benevolence ringing in hearts rooted in choice.
We are all okay, good from beginning, innocent - a diseasing lie eating us.
Their eyes widened a bit and ears tuned in to words undoing us. No good in us. There is brooding wrong within each of us demanding surrender, lording desire; a problem sitting heavy on the chest of mankind. Sin that won’t leave us alone and a scab that we won’t quit picking at.
For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. (Romans 7:18, ESV)
An illuminated reality in my role as parent has become apparent: just as I accept that there is no good within me, there is no good within them either. None. Their hearts live just as displaced as mine always choosing that which the heart wants rather than what it needs. My daughters lie to protect themselves, hate when their offended and hurt, take what’s not theirs, whine, complain, grumble and ignore others in need for the sake of comfort. Despicable hearts dirty in sin no matter how we pretty the outer. We stink the smell of offense.
And this particular realization and confession delivered us properly to the darkness of Lent, the eve of redemption evermore.
Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. (Romans 6:3-4, ESV)
My approach as dad now broadened focused on uprooting good from their hearts to give way for grace properly, set but then, that night when our Lenten discussions crescendoed well to redemption, the release held greatest importance. As our devotional book closed, our hearts opened floating free. Their little heads bowed as if looking dead into their guilty hearts and with quiet words Grace displaced good.
Like the good thief hanging guilty next to Jesus, grace and forgiveness found them readily and easy. With gratitude and solemness we looked ahead to the remembrance of Good Friday and the promise forthcoming on Easter morning.
Praise the Lord, grace has come.