Every two weeks I see a coach to help me figure out how to do this job. Last week, during our session, my coach talked about the origin of the word sincere. He heard a talk where it was explained that sincere originally came from two words "sin" and "cere" which meant without wax. Without wax referred to sculptures in Rome. Sculptors would use wax to fill in cracks and holes in the stone – if a sculpture was without wax – it was pure. It was presented in it’s actual state. No cleaning or covering up.
I was intrigued by his comments – the idea that sincere meant authentic, to let your holes, your flaws show. To not hide or cover things up. When I got home, I googled the etymology of sincere. It turns out that his story is a folk etymology, a story that has been passed down about where the word sincere came from – not the historical etymology of the roots of the word.
Nonetheless, I find the folk etymology intriguing. The idea that sincerity is showing up as your vulnerable self without filling our holes.
At the end of our scripture reading this morning Jesus says, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.”