“We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way….” (Isaiah 53:6) “…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)
In certain stores, you will find a special section where you can get clothes at reduced prices. My wife loves shopping at garage sales and second-hand stores. You can find some great prices there, too. There’s only one catch: in those certain sections of the store, each specially priced item has a tag on it; at garage sales and the Goodwill, the tag is implied.
That tag reads “As is.” It’s a nice way of saying, “There’s something wrong with this item.” It’s a euphemism for “These are damaged goods.” Sometimes the item is marked “Slightly irregular.” They are telling us (without actually telling us) that there is a flaw – a hidden stain, a zipper that won’t zip, a sleeve that’s too short, something.
When we bought our second home, the owner who sold it to us kept emphasizing that he was selling it “As is.” The repetition was getting ridiculous. I thought, “I got it…the place is as is!” Then we moved in and got to know the house. “Oh…THAT’S what he meant. DIY sprinkler system, drainpipes held in place by bailing wire. I get it now – as is.”
We’re all “as is.” That’s Isaiah’s point. And Paul’s. The Bible calls it sin. Neil Plantinga describes it this way: “In the biblical view of the world, sin is a familiar, even predictable part of life, but it is not normal. And the fact that ‘everybody does it’ doesn’t make it normal.”
We just finished a sermon series on the importance of relationships and community. I painted a pretty rosy picture, I’ll admit. But when we’re dealing with people, we’re in the “as is” section of the universe. How do we get along with slightly irregular people? And they with us?
Join us Sunday for the first sermon in our series, “Nobody’s Perfekt.”