Christ and the sinner, by Andrey Mironov, Wikimedia Commons
Shepherds search for their lost sheep,
but for their own profit.
Men seek their lost property
but out of self-interest.
Travelers visit foreign countries,
but for their own benefit.
Kings offer ransoms for prisoners,
but out of political calculation.
But why have you searched for me?
Why have you sought me out?
Why have you visited this hostile earth where I live?
Why have you ransomed me with your blood?
I am not worthy of such effort.
Indeed in my sin I have willfully tried to escape from you,
so you would not find me.
I have wanted to become a god myself,
deciding for myself what is good and bad
according to my own whims and lusts.
I have provoked you and insulted you.
Why do you bother with me?
Tychon of Zadonsk, 1724–1783, Russian Orthodox bishop
Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance:
Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.
But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners,
Christ Jesus might display his immense patience
as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.
Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God,
be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.