Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Washing Away Our Sins

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!  All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ. 

2 Corinthians 5:17-18a

I have lived a number of different places in my life from East to West, North to South. Literally. I have lived in North Carolina, Southern California, Michigan and Texas. I have seen every major body of water. The Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific, the Great Lakes and the Gulf of Mexico. Often times in my visits I have combed the beaches for shells, starfish, watched the horizon for God’s creatures. Hoping and praying for just a momentary glimpse of his splendor. I have left my mark on those  beaches with my romping in the sand leaving a trail of footprints behind. And I have sat for hours building miniature castles of sand, with passageways and drawbridges and the protective moats. I have always found the sun shining on me and the rhythmic sound of the waves peaceful and soothing to me. They are in fact, calming to me. 

Last week, my family and I headed back to Southern California on our summer vacation. It was the first trip for our boys that are nine and eleven. And, it was the first time my husband and I had returned since we left thirteen years ago. The boys were the most excited, of course, about visiting Disneyland followed closely by the trip to the beach. For me, it was the beach. I loved Disneyland and seeing the excitement on the faces of my family as we hit the roller coasters and the attractions. Space Mountain was a big hit with my family. But the peace that I felt as I placed my feet in the sand of Huntington Beach and Laguna washing over me allowed my cares and worries to flow away with the ocean breeze. I sat for a while one afternoon watching my boys be adventurous climbing on the rocky coast of Laguna determined to climb out to the largest bolder. There were a number of families out on the beach that day that left their mark on the sand. Footprints criss-crossed throughout the sandy beaching and scattered mounds of former sandcastles dotted the horizon. One visitor had taken a few moments and written a message in the sand only to surround it with a ring of seaweed as a barrier to keep it safe from the rising tides.

We spent about an hour on the beach that day. As we crossed back across the sand to the road back, that same message written in the sand was beginning to wash away leaving behind a smooth pristine beach. While many may look upon the half written message with sadness and a sense of disappointment, it struck me as such an amazing metaphor of the washing away of our sins. Our lives, just like that sandy beach, become marred and speckled with sin. We are no longer pristine and untouched and yet just as those waves come in and wash away the maze of footprints and smooth out the mounds of castles God washes away our former marred selves through the gift of His son Jesus Christ. We are new creations unblemished and unmarred. What a reason to thank God and celebrate our new life through Him. With the washing away of our sinful selves we find peace and comfort unlike no other, a peace that only He can provide. 

Heavenly Father, Thank you for the gift of your Son Jesus Christ. Thank you for the forgiveness you have given to us, washing away our sins and making us new creations again. Thank you for the beauty of the world around us. Whether it is the blue water and sandy beaches of Southern California, the mountains of Colorado or the plains of the Midwest region may we always see your glory in the creations around us. May we be reminded daily of you grace and Holiness. Amen. 

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