Hymn #471 in Celebrating Grace Hymnal — “Come, Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy”
[pullquote_center width=”78%”]Come, ye weary, heavy-laden, lost and ruined by the fall;
If you tarry till you’re better, you will never come at all.
Let not conscience make you linger, nor of fitness fondly dream;
All the fitness he requireth is to feel your need of him.[/pullquote_center]
I have never had a maid or cleaning service (visit my house and you’ll know it!), but I have heard several folks speak of “cleaning up for the maid to come”. It always makes me smile a little, but I sort of know the impulse. Maybe it is the same urge that overcomes folks with disorganized piles of random receipts just before they meet with their accountants. There is something in us that will admit we are needy, but not too needy. We need Jesus’ salvation and life-changing power, but we don’t want to need it too much. Sure, we’re sinners, but not sinners.
This hymn, one of my favorites from that era (1800s American), reminds me all the time that we all need Jesus, and that if I wait around to acknowledge my need till I’m more worthy of Christ’s attention, time will pass, and I may never approach the intimacy with God that Jesus offers me. I need not dream of fitness; Jesus is ready to accept me as I am… poor… needy… ready.