Pastor Tenny - April 25, 2021
“What color is your truck?”
When asked that question, I wasn’t really sure how to answer. As we stood staring at it, I knew what color it used to be. But now, thanks to the “billions and billions” (for full effect, you have to say it in the style of Carl Sagan) of particles of sneeze-producing allergens that have been floating around for the last few weeks, my truck was obviously yellow, not the cool-looking dark metallic gray that, when first purchased, sported a sparkle brighter than Tom Cruise’s smile. Now, after the “billions and billions” (c’mon, say it right!) of pollen particles decided to adhere themselves to my vehicle, all we could see was yellow. Covered in it.
Later that day, the car wash provided a brief respite from the butter-colored coating…until I drove it out of the tunnel of cleansing, just beyond the reach of the jet-powered blow dryers. By the next morning, the frustrating coat of yellow was once again clinging to the surface of my truck like peanut butter on the roof of your mouth.
The author of the book of Hebrews must have been looking out the window about this time of year at their dark-colored ride when they penned these words about sin: “…let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely…” (Hebrews 12:1b).
Yup. Just like that pesky pollen, sin tends to latch on to us. Run yourself through the Corporate Confessional Car Wash for a cleansing, and guess what…it’s right back. Coating us with a layer of unwanted, unsolicited haze that we call “sin”.
But, thanks be to God, we Christians have been given a bathing that transcends sin (and pollen). We have been washed in the baptismal waters that offer eternal cleansing. We can’t do it ourselves. We can’t just take a quick run through the car wash and expect that sin will never stick to us again.
To be truly cleansed, God sends His Spirit, washes us with the gift of water, marks us with the sign of the cross, seals us with Holy Spirit…forever…and, claims us as His very own, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. As we make our promises to God and those gathered, as we hear the words of forgiveness, as we state our confession of faith, and are washed in the water of baptism, God makes us clean in His eyes.
Thereafter, when God looks at us, He doesn’t see the sin that coats us. Instead, God sees all who have been created in His image as clean, blameless, and covered — covered in His forgiveness.
Now…if only I could baptize my truck!