Thinking Out Loud

March 22, 2019

Of Miry Clay and Wretchedness

Filed under: Christianity — Tags: , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 9:10 am

Brain flashback…

I remember it being sung in a children’s meeting:

He lifted me up, yes up
Up from the miry clay

We were kids, we played in the dirt and we played with the hose. We knew a thing or two about miry clay. Well, we did and we didn’t. We didn’t use the word miry in everyday speech.

For the adults it was:

From sinking sands he lifted me

Quicksand is something with which most of us do not have direct experience. Sometimes a person who was caught in the throes of addiction will talk about reaching bottom where there was nothing else to do but look up. But for the most part, the analogy of quagmire gets lost on us.

A more contemporary lyric would be

That saved a wretch like me

I remember in youth group we when we were coming up to “me” we would turn and point to the person next to us and sing “him” or “her” instead of “me.” None of us wanted to be the wretch.

The point is, in Western Europe and North America we have it pretty good. We’re comfortable. We enjoy our materialism. We celebrate our excesses on social media. Sin is become as archaic a word as miry clay; we’re comfortable redefining it — “that’s not sex” — as needed.

Nobody is covered in clay anymore, no one is sinking, no one is wretched.

What would anyone need to be saved from?

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