Three little letters

There are only three little letters in the word.  So what’s the big deal!  Mentioning it only offends, categorizes, stigmatizes and judges people.  It’s a word ‘holier than thou’ types use to produce guilt in others.   It can be used, they say, to control behavior.  All of this, of course, is unwanted and unwarranted.  So…

Let’s call it something else with which we are more comfortable.  After all, there are other words we can use to rename and replace it.  Words like mistake, error, disease, fault, little white lie, indiscretion or lapse in judgement will suffice.  Yet regardless of the most popular and palatable description of it, it remains the same.

By now you’ve guessed the word:  SIN.  SSSSHHHHHH, don’t say that.  It just drives wedges between people and pushes them away.  Perhaps…but, let’s be honest.  Does calling a skunk a halitosis kitty cat change the odor?

So what do we do with sin?  As Marv Rosenthal quipped on the cover of the July-August 2005 issue of ‘Zion’s Fire’, sin is universal in scope, deadly in effect and beyond the cure of any man-made antidote.  William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army, was said to have lamented while looking down on a bustling crowd of passersby:  ‘What will be done with the people’s sin?’.

Well, the Lord has given us several steps to take.  By placing faith in  the finished work of Jesus, trusting in His strength alone and relying on the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, we are to repent of it, rid ourselves of it, receive His help to overcome it and rejoice in the victory that will be won over it.  In the words of God through the Apostle Paul to the Thessalonian church, ‘…you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit…turning to God from idols to serve the living and true God and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead–Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath’.  I Thessalonians 1:6-10.

As we gather for worship this weekend, let’s not look for clever ways to change the topic of sin.  Let’s come to Jesus and find cleansing from sin.

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