Getting messy with Martin
Our faith communities would do well revisit Martin Luther’s understanding of the Christian as being simul justus et peccator, simultaneously righteous and a sinner. This is especially true when it comes to the issue of inclusiveness in our churches. Luther’s assessment completely levels unofficial hierarchies of holiness and dismantles the all too visible wall that divides between who is in and who is out. When God became human in the person of Jesus, our attempts at becoming like God by trying to escape our humanity were exposed for what they were: bankrupt. Rather, we were taught how to be more fully human. To be human is to be messy, but it is also to love and be loved. “Therefore,” writes brother Martin, “sinners are beautiful because they are loved; they are not loved because they are beautiful.” May we learn to see everyone as beautiful, rather than loving everyone who appears to be beautiful. May we stop fooling ourselves into thinking that we even know what beautiful, ugly, normal, abnormal, or in and out look like. We are always, every one of us, all of those at all times. They blend together in such a way that prevents us from distinguishing between them. How do we teach ourselves to live in this space? I have a feeling it is a very messy place, but it is a place I want to move into.