Here we have an Evangelical Protestant author testifying to grace he received through the sacraments - this was a most Anglican chapter!
But it grieved my heart as well. My own shame for past failures came up... questionable marriages and baptisms I should not have performed over the years, terrible sermons preached, standards compromised, people I've turned off to church by my flaws... Yet the final story is never my inadequacy, but the "full, perfect and sufficient sacrifice, oblation and satisfaction" offered by Christ on the cross and celebrated at the altar.
There's also grief to be felt when one looks at the Episcopal Church. TEC needs to feel ashamed, but doesn't. Other Anglican Provinces are refusing to share Communion with TEC over its infidelity toward Christ. I could not help but think of TEC where Lucado wrote, "Jesus prepared a table in the presence of the enemy. Judas was allowed to see the supper, but he wasn't allowed to stay there." (page 119)
Today (Aug. 15th) is the Feast of St. Mary the Virgin, Mother of the Lord. From her, Jesus took his human body and blood to offer for us. In Mary's great prayer, her soul "magnifies the Lord." May we magnify the Lord, making Him much, much larger in our lives, and letting our shame shrink in comparison to his great love for us. And may his great love console and inspire us through the church problems that distract us.
Chapter 15 on Friday... we will finish the book by the end of next week!