|Easier Than Honesty by Erick Sandlin|
This is a re-posting of the very first entry on this blog. It fits in well with the season of Lent.
When I think about the grand story of the Bible, I see God at much the same work. Again and again, through our sins, we mar the work of God. Last Sunday, we looked at that first sin in the garden. We talked about the sad fact that in Adam and Eve we became takers instead of receivers. The pattern plays itself out in the next few chapters. Cain took Abel’s life. Lamech took revenge on a young man who had injured him by killing him and then took delight in having done so. Evil became so great that God attempted a new start with Noah after the flood, but even then, our fallen humanity failed to receive the new start with open hands. With the ground still moist, Canaan took some potshots at his drunk, naked father. Noah then took Canaan’s folly as a chance to curse his own flesh and blood. And then in chapter 11, the whole world, it says, took on heaven, building a tower to the skies that they might make a name for themselves.
The first eleven chapters of the Bible are enough of a mess that it’s a wonder God allowed there to be a twelfth. But as is his nature, we find God giving once more. His gift in chapter 12 is a simple but lasting promise. God gives Abram a promise that serves as the initial brush strokes in his great work of salvation history. For the rest of the Bible, the painting unfolds, stroke by stroke, color by color until God redeems our errors for his glory by painting the picture that culminates in Jesus Christ and the redemption of our souls – God’s masterpiece from our mess. Whatever messes existed in your past or exist in your life today, take time to thank God that he makes, as Isaiah puts it, beauty of our ashes (see Isaiah 61:1-4).
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”Ephesians 3:20-21