Saturday, April 9, 2011

The ultimate power of acceptance

Artist: George Herbert McCord

I have an "official" type duty this afternoon so I decided to run a habit (one that had been hanging in the back of my closet for months) through the washing machine to freshen it up. As I was cleaning out the pockets, I found a piece of paper with the following printed on it:
Sometimes... a wave of light breaks into our darkness and it is as if a voice were saying, "You are accepted. You are accepted, accepted by that which is greater than you... Do not seek for anything...; do not intend anything. Simply accept the fact that you are accepted."
It's by the great existentialist 20th Century theologian, Paul Tillich. I remember using this passage during a sermon a number of years ago when I was a guest preacher somewhere during Lent. I told the congregation that if I were the rector of a parish, I think I would read this to my people every Sunday for an entire year. That's how important this message is.


  1. You're so welcome, Kara. I'm glad it's meaningful for you. IMHO, it's the best thing Tillich ever said.

  2. Ellie, Where does it come into play when one is in complete denial and has no work ethic?

  3. Well, it's been said by a number of folks that acceptance is not the same thing as approval. We certainly do not need to approve of everything about a person to be clear in our own heart that God accepts that person without conditions.

    If some sins in a person create an exception to God's acceptance then, I would submit, none of us will be accepted since "all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." It is actually not the gospel to say, "All right. Clean up your act first and then God will accept you."


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