Much Ado

June 8, 2008

Oh, what men dare do!  What men may do!  What men daily do, not knowing what they do!                                                  – 4.1.17 & 18

So says Count Claudio in William Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing.”


I read this much beloved play this week.  I must confess a love of Shakespeare.  I had never thought to love Shakespeare as my first encounters in high school English class were not to my liking.  I believe this was more from the ignorance of youth than any lack in my teachers or the Bard.


While I love Shakespeare, “Much Ado” is my favorite.  “Hamlet” and “Midsummer” are regarded nearly as well.  While spending some days visiting my friends Benedick and Beatrice, Don Pedro and Leonato, and my good friend Dogberry (Claudio and Hero as well, I suppose), I heard these words afresh.


The quote triggered a memory of Paul of Tarsus speaking with such emotion

18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.

20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.

22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:

23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

                                                                               Romans 7:18-25 KJV


I struggle with what I do and what I dare to do.  Unfortunately, as a Christian I do know what I daily do.  The unregenerate, the unsaved has no knowledge of life but that of sin.  The regenerate, the child of God knows all too well the rebellion that we daily live.


I do not wish to shirk my personal responsibility, but still wish to press a point.  That point is that we rarely here the word sin anymore.  All is disease.  All is dysfunction.  All is someone else’s fault. 


But this is not true. 


Sin is a hideous, ugly, and destructive thing.  Yet, we harbor sin in the home of our heart.  We allow this death to work within us.  How can we defile the temple of the Holy Spirit with such filth?


With Paul, we must turn our face to Jesus Christ our Lord.  He alone saves us.  He alone makes us right before the heavenly Father.  God alone can give us the grace and mercy we need to daily fight a battle against our flesh.  God alone can succor us when we need rest.  God alone can heal us when we fall to our depravity.  God alone can forgive.


So, when our sin rears up within us, let us turn our face toward the light of the Son.  Let that holy light dispel the darkness within us.  Let us turn to the Father who can conform us into the image of the Son.


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