Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Garbage Day

It may seem silly, but I love garbage day. Just think, you carry your junk to the street, and then it’s gone. The bags are gone. The garage is clean. The trash cans are empty. This has got to be one of the greatest achievements of modern civilization.

If you doubt me, answer this: What would you do with all your trash if no one took it away? Would you burn it? The smoke from everyone’s trash would cover the town. Would you bury it? Frankly, I’m afraid I come up with more trash that I have room to dig. You could shove it down the basement stairs, but that seems short-sighted.

What I really love about garbage day is that it reminds me of forgiveness. “If we confess your sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

This verse doesn’t explain the mechanics of atonement. It just states it as a fact. Forgiveness is possible, and forgiveness is possible. When I address my sin – recognizing my sin as sin, and name it for what it is – then forgiveness is promised. It’s a little like taking garbage to the street. In essence, you are admitting to the public – “I have garbage. Here it is.” And then it’s gone.

Sure, there are questions that need to be answered: What about unconfessed sin? How does God forgive sin and maintain His justice? Doesn’t this arrangement just encourage us to sin all the more? What about the consequences of sin? Are they taken away as well? And there are important answers to those questions.

But it doesn’t take away the delight of garbage day, and the joy of forgiveness day, which, when lived in the light, in fellowship with Jesus, is everyday.

No comments: