“You blind Pharisee! First wash the inside of the cup and the dish, and then the outside will become clean, too.”
It’s almost Thanksgiving!
Which means decorating the church.
Which means bringing out the tubs of beautiful fall decor I have collected over the years.
Which means opening the lids of the containers.
Which means –
Well, let’s just say I got a wee surprise when I cracked the lid on Box Number Three.
Box Number One was crammed full of luscious leaves and wreaths and florals.
Box Number Two, replete with table covers, festive sprays, candles, and baskets.
Box Number Three?
Well, that box really stinks!
(First the time ever, I was deeply grateful to be wearing a mask. Just saying.)
Here’s the raw deal.
In putting away the decor items last fall, I must have inadvertently added a real gourd to the fake gourd stash.
You can see where I’m going with this.
Unbeknownst to me, that real gourd slowly and surely rotted, releasing moisture as it went to its happy hunting grounds. Said moisture happily clung to the surrounding materials and began growing a fabulously healthy crop of mold. Being locked into an airtight container, (normally a desired feature of a storage facility), the resulting mold spread to an alarmingly efficient extent and voila!
That. Really. Stinks.
When I opened the box, my senses were assaulted with a juicy funk that, were I wearing socks, would have knocked them clean off my feet.
One curious bystander, observing my efforts to reclaim some of the fake gourds with an intensive scrub using Lysol wipes, knowing my writing habits, immediately remarked, “Now there’s something to write about.”
I’ve been wondering since what God sees when He opens the lid to my heart…
See, sin is deceiving. It lies. It pretends to be something it isn’t.
And all the while, there it sits – a festering, rotting, smelling-to-high-heaven pustule of filth just below the surface.
The only way to get rid of that smell in my big blue Rubbermaid is to pressure wash it and bleach it.
The only way to get rid of any residual ick deep in my heart is to admit that it’s there, and open it up to the grace of God.
Jesus blasted the Pharisees, the leading religious leaders of His day, for being hypocrites – squeaky clean on the outside, while harbouring ugly injustice, selfish pride, and a tendency to think their own made up rules counted for more than God’s rules.
Sound familiar at all?
Friend, I do not want Jesus to come for a visit, open up the door, and get a whiff of that decay when He spends time with me. Do you?
I’m so grateful for the fact that I am forgiven – that my mess is wiped clean from the inside out because Jesus removed it as far from me as the east is from the west.
Just let a grace like that sink in.
Wait for it…
Yeah. There. Isn’t that amazing?
So bring on the Thanksgiving season!
Clean up your inside with some grace power with me?
Father, we cannot thank You enough for sending Jesus to deal with our smelly sinful messes! Thank You that You clean us from the inside out. We don’t have to impose rules and regulations from the outside, because that has never worked. How amazing and clean this grace and forgiveness is. Amen.