I ain’t through sinnin’ yet.
I realize an entry into this blog is long overdue. That is the nature of my work. I go long periods of time without much time to spare. I am not a workaholic. It’s just that the demands of ministry in an inner city setting can sometimes be quite high. I remember one time on a visit to a youth across the street from the church, I encountered an uncle who lived in the same household. I knew this man as an honest, hard working man. He was sitting in an armchair watching TV with a glass of water perched on the armrest. When he saw me, he quickly put the water glass on the floor out of my sight. He didn’t, however, remove the vodka bottle in time for me to not notice that. Suddenly, I had an opportunity to demonstrate to him our emphasis on grace in the Lutheran church. I wanted him to know that he would be welcome “as is.” He didn’t need to quit drinking prior to joining St. Olaf. He was acceptable just as he was. “Simul justus et peccator” –simultaneously saint and sinner. “I came to see your nephew,” I said, “but while I’m here, do you mind me asking if you belong to a church?” “No,” he answered politely. “Well then,” I said. “I invite you to come to St. Olaf. I think you’ll find the people very down to earth. You’ll probably know some of them from the neighborhood.” “Thank you for the invitation,” he replied. “But, I ain’t through sinning’ yet.” With that, he picked up the water glass and the vodka bottle and poured himself another drink.