For the past 3 Sundays (and we'll be closing it out this coming Sunday) Illumine's been focusing on the idea that "Dirt is Dirty." The point of this series so far has been to talk a serious look at sin - what it is, why it is wrong, and just how dirty it makes us (even if it seems to have little consequence or societal impact.)
One of the main reasons we've taken this careful look at sin is to help each of us improve at identifying and wanting to avoid broken behaviors (and all sin is broken.) We've wanted to stress how easy it is to trivialize sin, because we realize that, quite frankly, dirt is everywhere.
There isn't really any place you can turn (not even church) that isn't affected by sin. It's all over the place. If people are there - so is sin. So often we see where sin is particularly prevalent or obvious and we think, "I'll avoid that place," which is good, but then we move on from avoiding temptation to looking for paradise. We try to find the purest, most pious, most outwardly excellent setting (sometimes referred to as the most religious) and we convince ourselves that if we look hard enough, we'll find a place where there is no sin.
So people move from church to church, friend group to friend group, denomination to denomination, philosophy to philosophy, all in pursuit of a perfectly clean place on earth. But no matter where we turn, there is dirt.
If everything you touch has dirt on it, maybe your hands are dirty.
And that's the thing, isn't it? Everywhere we look, there's sin, but it isn't because this place or that place has an inherently sinful quality. It is because all people have an inherent problem with sin. The filthiness comes up out of us and ruins everything we touch. Even if you were adopted by a family of God's holy angels and spent time exclusively with them, you and your sin would ruin it. It wouldn't be perfect anymore.
Dirt is everywhere. So maybe, instead of running from it, we need to clean it up. This coming Sunday, our service theme is Soap. That's the response to dirt. We don't throw away a piece of clothing after it is dirty. We don't buy new dishes each week. Instead, we wash things. The forgiveness and reconciliation that come from Jesus are the solution that can wash away dirt - even as pervasive as it is in our world.
So maybe you don't always have to run from people who sin. Maybe you can offer them a free way to clean themselves, and show them just how good it is to be cleaned by Christ.
1 Corinthians 6:11
But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
- Pastor Kent Reeder