Friday, February 12, 2016

Rub Some Dirt In It . . .

Image result for crown of thorns purple   "Rub some dirt in it and walk it off!"  When I was a lad that was the default encouragement one would hear whenever someone injured themselves while playing sports.  It was a way of saying STOP crying and get back in the game so we can win!  Not exactly sympathetic, huh?

   This past week the season of Lent opened up with the observance of Ash Wednesday.  Lent is the Holy Christian Church's way of saying "Rub some dirt in it." But the Church's motivation is not to win, but rather, to lose. 

  • to lose our boasting before the Lord;
  • to lose our love of sin;
  • to lose our disillusionment of making ourselves right with God by our actions;
  • to lose our alibis and excuses for our wrong actions, words and thoughts; and,
  • to lose any fantasy about our mortality.
   "Rub some dirt in it" means that we are honest about who we are before the Lord.  It is a realization that standing with our spiritual resume before the Most High God is a harrowing ordeal.  It is a confession that we have come woefully short of His expectations and demands.  It is a stark reminder that death - both physical and eternal - are what we deserve for how we have misused the life our God has granted us.  It is listening, along with Adam, to the words of the curse: 
"By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you shall return"  Genesis 3:19
   But there is more to the Christian's life than repentance and sorrow - there is HOPE!  We have hope because God sent His Son into this life of dust and dirt and sin in order to rescue us.  We have hope because Jesus lived a perfect life, suffered and died, and then rose from the dead on the third day!  Through faith we hear the curse revised into: Dust you are and to dust you shall return . . . until Jesus returns again and you are called once more out of the dust into eternal life!"  

   Lent is a time to reflect on our mortality and sin, even as we prepare to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead!  Life got you down? Burdened by sin and sorrow?  Just plain tired of the world's garbage? Rub some dirt in it and rejoice - for Christ has overcome the world!

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