Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Eat a peck of dirt....

"Don't pick that up!" I hear myself saying, "It's not clean!"

With two boys dirt sort of comes as part of the package in our family! I shouldn't really complain (even though I do)as I remember coming home one day late for lunch, covered in mud, having been playing on "the banking" - the old disused railway cutting at the end of our road.

Dirt gets everywhere, along with melted chocolate, honey shreddies and the feathers that came off the latest offering from the cats to their beloved owners! It seems a never ending task to get rid of it.

Our world can feel a bit like that: no matter what we do, no matter how good we try to be, how faithful to God's word we seek to be, we end up getting soiled by the world. It would be better just to leave well alone - only to spend time with people who want to "stay clean" - wouldn't it? It is so easy to pull up the drawbridge, or circle the wagons, or set the security cameras and avoid the rest of humanity at all costs.

Under the covenant God made through Moses, if a leper (someone with an incurable skin disease) touched you, you were declared "unclean" - you couldn't join the rest of society until you had been purified - which took some time!

Yet under God's New Covenant, shown through Jesus, when a leper is touched they become clean - grace and righteousness are infectious, not sin and disease.

Too often, I think, we keep ourselves away from the world - afraid of being "contaminated". Yet I strongly believe that it is those who have put their trust in Jesus who are the "infectious" ones. It is those people who are prepared to go out and spend time amongst the "tax collectors and sinners" - as the Bible describes those in Jesus' day rejected by the "religious people" - who are the infectious people whom God can use to change the world.
Which do we believe? That we can be infected by sin, or that we are called to infect the world with righteousness. Which covenant do you believe? It's time to choose!

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