Sunday, February 20, 2005

I am Yours. Save Me.

I waited for Netflix to deliver "Luther" to me, with a curious blend of excitement and loathing. Excitement because I thougth it might be a really cool movie. Loathing because I thought it would possess the dismal production values, acting, and pontification of Left Behind: The Movie. God help us.

It wasn't like Left Behind: The Movie. It was terrific. God used it to speak to me--though that doesn't make it special. Billboards have spoken God's lesson's to me. Anyway, there was this scene where one of his mentors, an older priest, gave him a prayer. The prayer was:

I am Yours. Save me.

And right then and there I was in love.

I am Yours. Save me.

It's almost paradoxical isn't it? Like ragamuffin diva. How can you be His, and need to be saved? How can you be a ragamuffin, AND a diva (when I used to chat with the community on Brennan Mannings website they challenged this. I couldn't be BOTH! But I'll bet Brennan would say that I could.)

I am Yours. This is the kind of prayer you can pray with a martyrs zeal. I am Yours. You may even pray it with a teensy bit of pride. Spiritual pride. Can you imagine such a thing? Of course not, surely I just made that concept up. I am Yours. Heady stuff. If you have the nerve to believe it.

Next, you get the one-two punch of "Save me." Ouch. We like to think once we read that Jack T. Chick tract "This is Your Life" and it literally scared the hell out of us, or we read and actually understood the 4 spiritual laws, and God has a wonderful plan for our lives, and we prayed the prayer on the back, or we responded to the altar call, or we filled out the little card, we are saved. And saved is good, so let's just going on about the business of being His, and not deal with delicate matters like asking God to save us on a regular basis.

That's so much tidier.

But, apparently Luther's relationship with Jesus wasn't tidy. Neither is mine.

I remember the Word of Faith churches I attended, and their disdain for the concept of being called "sinner' after one had found the Lord. The Jesus prayer, "Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner", wouldn't fly in those churches, no matter how much good it did the poor pilgrim. We may get the Jesus Christ, son of God part right, but who needs mercy? We have everything!

We even changed the words to Amazing Grace. It saved a SOUL like me. Who wants to own up to being a wretch? Later, I'd watch spokespersons in this movement claim that Jesus wore designer clothes. Who wants a plainclothes Jesus? It's just not Prosperous.

Sounds familiar, doesn't it?

I am Yours. That's the easy part, if we can only bend knee and will enough to accept His magnificent gift of grace, but to asked to be saved after one is saved? Isn't that redundant.

I hope not. Because I want to be saved. I want to be saved from my stubborn self-absorbtion, and my fear. I want to be saved from my laziness, and the meaness that sprouts like weeds that constantly need to be plucked (painfully) out of me. I need to be saved from pride, and vanity, and lust, and talking too much, and not talking enough. I need to be saved from everything.

The prayer makes me think about the nature of our salvation. Maybe we thought it was a one time deal. Maybe we thought we could get saved, lose salvation, and get it again, like something you could pick up at the Works of God store. Or maybe we thought we could lose it forever, and spend our lives (deaths) like ghosts in the world, lacking substance, and grieving our losses evermore. Maybe we got it wrong.

Maybe we can be His, and ask Him to save us. I like the idea. I like to think this salvation thing is largely relational. We are His, and in Him, the Person of Jesus, we find salvation daily, hourly, and in any moment that we can lift our voice to Him saying:

I am Yours. Save me.


Heather Diane Tipton said...

–continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, Philippians 2:12. So doesn't it stand to reason if you have to continue to work it out it isn't a one shot deal? So saying "I am Yours. Save me." Makes perfect sense to me.

I love that prayer. I'll have to use that one. Just like I use, "I believe. Help me with my unbelief."

daisymarie said...

Now there's some powerful praying!

I sat and meditated on the "I am yours" part and it just filled me with such awe. How can it be? And yet it is.

"save me." This reminds me much of the Disciples Prayer (commonly referred to as the Lord's Prayer) or even the verse from "Come thou fount": Prone to wonder Lord I feel it. I want to dwell in the fullness of my salvation, but too often chose to live life on the edges, unnecessarily enduring a spiritual poverty. Save me from myself, from my fears, from me.

This is a good place to journey.

Thank you.

Jules Quincy Stephens said...

My husband and I watched "Luther" over the weekend. The movie inspired my husband to finally start reading the complete works of Luther I bought him two years ago!

It is an excellent movie, and it made me want to explore my faith more, too.

Don Bromley said...

that's funny... i just watched 'Luther' last night on DVD. i agree, it was a pretty good movie... i wonder how my Catholic friends would see it? we definitely owe Luther much for what he did, regardless of his own personal shortcomings.

osray said...

I am yours because you bought and paid for me. Why would you choose not to save me?

daniel lukas said...

i like your blog very much. good reading. great thoughts.


poetpete said...

Nice post, Rags. Encouraging, challenging, strengthening. My favourite all-time prayer, and I also mean a prayer for all times, is "Lord, Save me." It is present and continual, I have used it often and have never been denied. It is absolutely necessary for he never stops being our Saviour after our names are written in his Book of Life. "Lord save me" and "I am yours, save me" are one and the same. They both demonstrate relationship and ependence. And those two little prays stop a lot of huffin and puffin and over-analysing and self-justification and authoritative-theologising. Those two prayers demonstrate the what and Who at the very core of our being and our being-saved.

Nice to be reading in the house of diva again,

Candy said...

I love everything about this post. I love the paradox of the prayer and I love the paradox of "Ragamuffin Diva". I can relate completely. Sometimes I feel like the wretch in Amazing Grace and sometimes I feel like a princess, a child of the King. Really I am both. I've seen the movie and loved it too. My favorite part is the prayer, the giving of it and the using of it. Thanks for reminding me. I'll use it today, I'm sure, for my relationship with Him is not tidy either.

Geo said...

The one thing we all can be assured of is that Jesus Redeemed all of us spiritually . Now salvation is as Paul says of the mind or soul. That comes daily. So yes I say we receive more and more salvation daily as we seek Him. But that salvation has to do with the soul being reconcilled to the fact that we have all once and for all been Redeemed.

Melting Paradigms

seeker of truth said...

But, apparently Luther's relationship with Jesus wasn't tidy. Neither is mine.

It's like a roller coaster....and every bit as exciting!!!

spiritual ingenue said...

I absolutely love this movie. My favorite part is watching Luther pray- he does it so openly and shamelessly, crawling on the floor and screaming at the devil. That was so raw and beautiful to me.. how many times I've longed to pray that way but didn't have the guts.

Love your site Ragamuffin... thinking of you as we walk this journey together.

teci said...

hi everyone :)

ms. ragamuffin diva, you rock! Christian writer! God called me to do that too :) i haven't done anything yet except to blog and conceptualize; there's a lot of raw material in my blog but all in God's perfect timing... :)

like all of you, i love those lines from Luther :) it has a lot of other really good lines (which i hope sink into the hearts of my fellow Filipinos, who are predominantly Catholic), but "i am Yours. save me." says it all...

daisymarie, thanks for reminding me of this:
O to grace how great a debtor
daily I'm constrained to be!
Let thy goodness, like a fetter,
bind my wandering heart to thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
prone to leave the God I love;
here's my heart, O take and seal it,
seal it for thy courts above.

and heather too, i love that "i believe; help me with my unbelief."

one i'm using these days is, "thank You. You can do everything by Yourself, but You chose to work with us anyway." (in the context of serving God.) similarly, "thank You. You can live without us, but You chose to create and love and die for us anyway."

^_^ God bless us all! :)