I once made the mistake of preaching about sex on Mother’s Day.
Some folks got angry and I remember thinking: “Don’t you know how a woman becomes a mother? Don’t you know where babies come from?”
Some folks think it’s a bad place.
It certainly is a place where we feel shame.
Shame is that feeling we get when something about us feels incomplete or inadequate.
Shame isn’t bad, but what we do with it can be bad… or the way to make a baby.
And nothing is better than a baby.
So where do babies come from?
Psalm 51 is where baby Jesus comes from.
It is where the Way, the Truth, the Light, and the Life comes from.
It is where your righteousness comes from.
You, Mother Church, give birth to Christ in this world, unless of course you never learned just where it is that babies come from.
Psalm 51 is the prayer that David prayed after he had “gone into Bathsheba,” murdered her husband, and been confronted by Nathan the prophet.
Nathan told David about a rich man that slaughtered a poor man’s only lamb and served it for dinner.
And then Nathan said, “David you are that man.”
Which makes Bathsheba, Uriah, or, maybe… Jesus, the lamb.
David prayed “O God, against you and you only have I sinned.”
David took the Love in Bathsheba and the Life in Uriah.
God is Love. Jesus is the Life.
David took the life of the Good like fruit from a tree in a garden.
David prays, “I have done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment.”
We think God judges because we sin.
God, David, and St. Paul (Romans 3:4-6) seem to think we sin because God judges and wants us to see his judgment and justify His judgment, exclaiming, “Wow, God’s Judgment is Good!”
It’s as if all the suffering of this world is worth seeing God’s judgment—kind of like all the suffering of labor is worth the sight of a newborn baby.
It’s as if we’re to give birth to God’s Judgement.
Nathan tells David that his sin has been put away.
Forgiveness: that’s God’s Judgment.
“Nevertheless,” says Nathan, “the son born to you—the Son of David—will die.”
David threw himself upon the earth for seven days; the son of David died, and David got up, entered the house of the Lord, and worshiped.
Then David entered Bathsheba and comforted her.
Then Bathsheba gave birth to Solomon, Prince of Peace and very great grandfather of Jesus—the Son of David.
And that’s where Jesus comes from.
Jesus is the slaughtered lamb that bears our sin to destruction in the fire of God’s Mercy.
And Jesus is the slaughtered lamb that rises in you as the righteousness of God.
Jesus is the judgment of God. We die with him and rise with him.
And that’s where your righteousness comes from.
Righteousness is the judgment of God in, and through, you.
You cannot make yourself righteous; to try is just to cover your shame.
But you can and you will give birth to righteousness when you surrender your shame to your Helper in the Covenant of Grace.
David confessed his sin and gave birth to righteousness; he gave birth to you—the Church.
Sometimes it seems that we forget where our righteousness comes from.
We’re like a bride that’s confused getting fat with getting pregnant.
We confuse eating the lamb with surrendering to our bridegroom.
We took the life of the Good from the tree in the middle of the Garden.
When we surrender that sin and expose our shame…
We see that the Good fore-gave his Life on that tree in the middle of the Garden.
And we receive the Life of the Good from that tree in the middle of the Garden.
That’s the Judgment of God, and that’s where Eternal Life comes from—a “bad place” that reveals the very best place, the Heart of God.