“For the perishable must put on the imperishable, and the mortal must put on immortality.”
Two kids were building a sand castle on the beach. They worked with determination and purpose but each effort, as they neared completion, came crumbling down. Undaunted they persisted but to no avail. Invariably their efforts failed them. It was then that another kid came along, saw their dilemma and offered to help. The problem, she told them, was the sand they were using did not have enough moisture. Moving a bit closer to the water they tried again. This time the sand held together and the castle was built. The kids were delighted and enjoyed the results of their efforts until the tide eventually carried it away.
This story has been played out countless times and points us to something simple yet crucial regarding our lives. Born into this world, each of us must build a life out of the raw material of experience. Yet as we do so it becomes readily apparent that the cohesion and integration of our life’s energies and resources that is required for a meaningful life can be elusive. How many “sand castles” have we built only to find they lack that cohesiveness that pulls everything together. As each day dissolves into the irretrievable past, in some measure all our lives are haunted by failed and misspent efforts What, if anything, has the power to gather up the debris field our lives and make of its crumbled remnants an enduring edifice?
The forgiveness of sins that is in Christ has that power. Forgiveness follows behind the Christian, cleaning up the debris of the past even as it permeates the present, giving coherence to our faltering efforts, continually freeing us. Forgiveness also comes to meet us from tomorrow, bringing the assurance and the caveat that the permanence and certainty we seek will be God’s gift to us, but not in this life.
So, for a little while, we employ the life we have received. We build it out of the perishable ingredients of this world, trusting in God’s grace to provide the purpose and coherency that finally eludes us, until that day when the tide of eternity washes over this old creation and the perishable sands of this life give way to the imperishable love, mercy and grace of God.
“May the peace of God that passes all understanding keep you hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord.”