I have not much to offer You
Not near what You deserve
But still I come because Your cross
Has placed in me my worth
Oh, Christ my King of sympathy
Whose wounds secure my peace
Your grace extends to call me friend
Your mercy sets me free
And I know I’m weak, I know I’m unworthy
To call upon Your name
But because of grace, because of Your mercy
I stand here unashamed
I can’t explain this kind of love
I’m humbled and amazed
That You’d come down from heavens heights
And greet me face to face
Here I am at Your feet
In my brokenness complete
Preparing a worship session for BAY camp and I’m struck again by the lyrics of this wonderful song by Starfield. Despite the title being ‘Unashamed’, I reckon its the great paradox and miracle of the gospel that you first have to be ashamed, very ashamed, before you can be the complete opposite. Being ashamed enough to call on God’s name is to realise that all the good deeds, all the self-help books and all the material possessions in the world just won’t do the trick. My sinful nature is not a tiny cut that can be plastered over with a visit to the old folks’ home; its a full-blown heart failure that needs the ER and a top surgeon.
On observation, I’ve come to the conclusion that in fact, most of the world is quite willing to accept there’s a “god” out there somewhere. The concept of God, of a higher being, is still acceptable — comforting, even. What really rankles, though, is what this God says and wants. What? We’re born sinners? We have to listen to You? We can’t live our lives the way we want? Yeah, thanks but no thanks. It is much, much harder to accept that we can’t help ourselves, and that we need God. God is fine when he’s way up there in heaven, smiling through the clouds and giving us a boost in life when we need it, but when it comes to living life according to His word… Umm, no I’m pretty sure I can handle my own life, thanks.
Recognising our own sinfulness and helplessness is probably one of the hardest things in the world, because really, who likes to admit they’re a complete failure? Thankfully though, complete failures are just the kind of people God declares “complete”.