Bluntly naming both the good and the bad and allowing them to stand in tension with one another creates space for an honest view of the people around us and the communities we serve—because the truth is that no person or institution is purely good or purely bad.
No one is even half good and half bad, or good some of the time and bad all the other times. The reality is that all of us are always, at the same time, thoroughly sinful and completely sanctified.
Martin Luther used the phrase simul iustus et peccator (at the same time righteous and sinful) to describe this reality. Amid it all, God becomes human so that we can live into the deep love to which God has called us.
This message is an excerpt from “Poems with pandas” by Elizabeth Palmer in the November 2019 issue of Gather magazine.
Today we remember Thomas Cranmer, bishop of Canterbury, martyr, who died in 1556.
Do you enjoy these free Daily Grace messages? If so, donate now to further the ministry. Use the “where needed most” line. Subscribe to Gather magazine for full articles excerpted in Daily Grace.