Rev. George Borghardt
In the name of Jesus. Amen. You are Coram Deo perfect. Perfect in every way in Christ. Just perfect. Each of you, every last one of you who can hear my voice today. Perfect. Not a sin, not a bit of it, you are complete.
You’re perfect. You are perfect. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. Just perfect. The CCVs who yesterday made fun of how short I am are perfect. Even this guy, he’s perfect too. Me too! Perfect in Christ.
Look at the person to the right you. Give them a thumbs up. They are perfect in Christ.
Then, look at the person on your left - and for me that’s my other right - and wink at them. They are perfect too in Christ.
Perfectly holy - wholly holy. Not a bit of sin. Not a one. Your head is perfect. Your toes - and I don’t even like toes - they are perfectly forgiven in Christ too. You have not a single sin, not a chance, not in Christ, zero, zilcho, zip!
Y’all are Holy Baptism perfect. Holy Absolution - “I forgive you” perfect. Holy Communion Body and Blood of Jesus perfect.
And I’m not blowing wind up your conference shirts either. Nor is this psycho-babble like looking in the mirror and saying over and over again, “I’m perfect” when you sooo aren’t.
And I'm not saying that everything you do smells better than it actually does. No, your pooh still stinks and so do you - before God and before your neighbor too.
But, in Christ, because of His sacrifice, you stand before God perfect. You smell perfect before God - like the sweet aroma of the sacrifice of Christ, your High Priest.
Christ is the offering, the sin offering that makes every last part of you perfect, complete and whole before God. Completely holy. Completely the Lord’s. Perfected by Christ’s holy sacrifice.
His holy life and perfect sacrifice atones for, pays for, answers for, for all your sins, all your imperfections, and all your evil. The Cross makes you perfect, complete, holy before God.
But there’s that sin, and that other one that if anyone knew, you’d be well, just perfectly done.
So, you try to do better. You try to cover your sins like a cat covers their "business" in their cat box, but your stuff still stinks. You excuse yourself, justify it, but it still smells everything up, stinks you up, and there is no air freshener that will fix it. And He sees it all, smells it all- all your blunders, your hidden thoughts, your stinking works before God. He knows it all. There are no secrets before the Almighty.
One little imperfection, one mess up, one sin, ruins the whole thing - one stain, one spot, soils you completely.
And you can’t do anything about it. You can’t sacrifice enough, change enough, do enough to be perfect before God all by yourself. Which means, you all by yourself are perfectly lost.
So..Repent! Repent of your own perfection. Die to your stinkiness before God. Leave it in the grave with Jesus and receive.. receive the sweet aroma of Christ’s sacrifice which covers your stench and soothes the angry nostrils of Almighty God.
In His sacrifice, you are in Christ perfect. Christ crucified for you perfect. Nails in to each of His hands and feet perfect. Spear in His side perfect! Christ risen from the dead perfect.
Christ ascended to the right hand of God perfect. All your enemies under His feet perfect. “By His one sacrifice [by His Cross] Christ has perfected all those who are being sanctified, [all who are baptized into Christ, all who hear His Words, all who are absolved, all who eat and drink the Body and Blood of Christ.]
You are perfectly forgiven from head to toe. Head. Hands. Arm pits. Knees. Bottoms. Toes. All of you. You are perfectly holy - every bit of you. Christ has redeemed even your stinky parts.
Not just for a little bit or until you sin! All of you stands perfect in Christ before God.
This second, this minute, this hour, this day, this week, this month, this year, all the way until forever.
Now...Back to the people sitting on your left and right... The same sacrifice that makes you perfect before God makes them perfect before God too.
And if they stand before God perfect in Christ, there’s no reason for you to find fault with them when they stand before you. Christ doesn’t, so why should you?
The sacrifice of Christ has splashed everything with blood. Blood that once for all time takes away every one of your sins. Leaving you, and those around you, perfect.
In His gifts - in His Word, in His Baptism, in His Absolution, in His Supper. You are His perfect people made perfect by a perfect Lord who gave up His perfect life as the once-for-all time perfect sacrifice for you.
You are... Perfect in Christ - Coram Deo perfect! INI. Amen.
Created: August 10th, 2011