Fall has officially arrived! The weather has changed, the leaves are turning, and there is even snow in the forecast…must be Minnesota! One of the many projects that people undertake this time of year is fall cleanup. (By the way, this also serves as a little plug for our Church Clean-Up Day on Saturday, October 26.)
For many people, there are leaves to be raked up, windows to be washed, gardens to prepare, trees and shrubs to prune, and that doesn’t even begin to get started on any indoor rearrangement and tidying jobs. Hopefully I haven’t stressed you out too much yet! There is still time!
I love when things are clean. I find it relaxing and calming when I don’t have to notice little messes that need to get picked up, but I have recognized, in my limited experience, that this is just not real life…especially living in a house with three young children. There are always things to clean, there are always messes to pick up, there are always projects to do and rooms to tidy up. The problem can become when we leave those things unattended and then they pile up into something otherworldly and overwhelming.
This week, we are going to be continuing our look at the Apostle Paul’s second letter to Timothy where he writes about the necessity and importance of a clean house. But Paul is not talking about your physical dwelling…rather, he is talking about God’s House: The Church. Because the Church is full of messy, sinful people like you and me, there is plenty of things that need a good cleaning and much of it is brought on by ourselves because of our sinful nature. We can so easily be tempted to let these little messes pile up until they become big and so noticeable, they have to be addressed, but by then it can become out of control. We can let little quarrels, arguments, disagreements, and conflict stew and pile up to the point where we harm others and the unity of the Body.
Paul’s response to these things is to instruct Timothy, and believers today, to flee from these things, to not spend any time indulging them, to not give them a foothold or the time of day because they are simply not worth it. Rather, we must allow ourselves to be cleaned, to be made new, to be restored so that we can enjoy the humility and unity that comes from being cleansed. That’s the promise of God through His Holy Spirit. As members of one family…His family…we are all undergoing a cleansing process that is transforming our selfish, rebellious, sinful selves into something that is holy, useful, beneficial, and ready to love and serve. Along the way, we will experience moments where our sin will get the best of us in our interactions with one another or with others in general, but that is where we extend grace to one another. We give out of what we have been first shown and given and along the way, we catch a greater glimpse of our Savior.
Pastor Ben Bigaouette