Easter week, Psalm 41:
The anger could not be avoided. It was open for all to see and hear, as tables were turned and irate voices followed. “Impossible. Embarrassing. Unlikely. What right does he have?” were the thoughts of the crowd. Others thought, “It is about time. Finally. Serves them right! Who would have the audacity to put on such a display?”
A single thread
It is easy to gradually overlook our selfishness, our guilt or our sin, as it slowly becomes apart of the “new normal.” When did it become a habit? When did it become natural? It seems like one minute it is unacceptable or “out of the question,” and then eventually– well, it is overlooked and is just another thread in the fabric of our life. But one thread can change everything. If we tug on that one thread, everything could unravel, so it is better to leave it alone.
My tolerated sin grows subtly and quietly.
It is like the weeds in my yard or the dust on my table. It was not there, but now it is very noticeable and will take work to get rid of it. Or, it is like the increasing pile of laundry or stack of papers; one item at a time contributes to it’s growth. My son’s growth happens like this as well. Just yesterday they were so much smaller, yet the unseen growth happened little by little without a word or much attention.
One look turns into a gaze and just one more click. The quick loose word, turns into gushing gossip. Criticism in my head, unchecked, soon is apart of my normal thoughts. When did everyone else become wrong? Dreams of faith slowly turn to doubt and reasoned away. The money once given is gradually held back to “be more responsible with the future.” One more bite, one less bite– both, soon distract and lead into an emotional food trap. Little by little…
Grace unravels sin
The only way I find hope in this is by seeing and remembering that my sin, hidden and visible, is matched and defeated only by grace: God’s generous, abundant grace. As Psalm 41 says:
As for me I said, “Lord, be gracious to me. Heal my soul, for I have sinned against you.”
Secondly, the pit of sin is dark, so light must shine in it. Confessing it to God and another person is the light in this darkness. We must expose our sin to this light.
The week everything was unraveled
Easter week, Jesus’ last week, he came into the temple in a rage. He turned the tables and disturbed the status quo. The place of prayer– the place to meet with God and worship, was overrun by cheats, hypocrites and scammers. How could this be? Did it start with a few exchanges that were questionable but later, justified and tolerated? Soon, it became accepted as a new normal for the court of Gentiles in the temple. It was now a part of life.
God’s grace unravels our sin. Jesus demonstrated God’s grace even in His anger. Grace exposes the sin. Exposing can change things– wrongs can be altered, slowed down and brought to a halt. Jesus named the wrong and called it by it’s a name: a den of robbers, and no longer a place of prayer.
God’s grace is also His patience. God patiently waits for our repentance, for a heart change. He is not eager to squash us immediately. He patiently waits for us to turn. This is grace. God’s grace was demonstrated by sending His own son, to be our substitute for our sin. Sin must be paid for. Things must be made right. There must be restoration.
Now it is Easter week. The tables can be turned. Easter is an opportunity to unravel sin in our life. It is a time to experience God’s grace and allow it to begin to pull the thread that was stiched through the fabric of our life
- Is there a sin I need to name, and call sin and confess?
- Are there things that I have slowly dimmed the lights to and now keep in the dark? What do I need to shine the light on? Who can I confess it to– exposing it to the light?
- Where do I need to experience God’s grace, in not only helping unravel the thread, but for seeing change over time?
You never know when you pull a thread, what will happen. Things do begin to unravel. Grace does this. But then it also changes the fabric, making a beautiful tapestry for our life. Once the tables are turned, things can begin to change and unravel.