Peter, Freda, Sarah Alice others have asked me to not call myself The Old Fool. They are wiser than I, and I should listen to them. But first I think we should ponder the following lines I wrote for my own edification 17 years ago: The title is
The Mystery of our Salvation
You will remember me as the “Old Fool”. I am old – 72 years. I have been a fool many times in the ordinary sense of the word. But when I am on my better behavior I wish myself to be a fool for Christ’s sake. I”m never a perfect fool like He was, mind you, just a fool, but a fool for His sake nevertheless. So, like a fool, I go public with these lines for His sake.
In Romans chapters 1 – 3 the Apostle Paul made a sweeping indictment against all humanity with these words, “We know that everything in the law was written for those who are under its power. The law says these things to stop anyone from making excuses and to let God show that the whole world is guilty. God doesn’t accept people simply because they obey the Law. No indeed! All the law does is to point out our sin.”
I know that the law points to my sins and to the sins of others. A statement of the Southeast Mennonite Conference correctly holds that all sins are regarded alike by God and all of us are forlorn and perverted sinners.
I confess to being imperfect from the top of my balding head to the the nails of my fungi-plagued toes. I’ve never preached a perfect sermon. I know that apart from God’s grace I am guilty of every kind of sin in the Book. I’ve never prayed a perfect prayer. I’ve not communicated with others perfectly. I am perverted.
The degree of my perversion is not a significant factor in my relationship to God. To be only slightly perverted is to be less then perfect. To be less than perfect is to be doomed by the law. Isaiah wrote, “There is none righteous, no not one.”
Those who know me well likely know my imperfections better than I. I am confessing them to you so that may know that I know I am a sinner. You will help me to accept you if you acknowledge that you are a sinner. Integrity requires that we acknowledge this common condition. You are no better than I, I am no better than you. We come as equals to the cross of Jesus.
This Old Fool is not
a fool who sleeps unaware.
You know we all know
Of course, this is not all there is to the mystery of salvation. This echo from the past will be continued with further comments on who I am and what I believe about myself.