Sunday, March 16, 2008

Nothing But the Truth

Podcast version here

Romans 6: 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin.

This week, our church hosted a special performance by the Word Players of Knoxville. They put on their production of “A Woman Called Truth.” It was a remarkable play, which told the story of a slave woman from the North East, who fought against her captors to win freedom for herself, her son, and her family.

I was really impressed by the whole cast, who portrayed her story in a wonderful and engaging way. I was also struck by how relevant Sojourner Truth’s life still is for what we experience today. People may not be sold as slaves any longer, but the old prejudices and racism still persist. Just recently, a major politician, who should have known better, made an unintentional racial slur against a presidential candidate. It was unintended, but it was still racist, and what makes it even more repugnant, is that many people don’t see the racism in the remark. But that’s how the scourge of racism works – subtly and under the radar – until it becomes acceptable to the general public.

Sin operates in a similar fashion, especially in the areas of obsession and addiction. Habitual sin diminishes our faith moment by moment, event by event, sin by sin, until it becomes a major problem. The ex-Governor of New York was seduced by his own addiction, but instead of seeking help, he let it overcome him until it has ruined his career, his marriage, and possibly his life.

Sin, racism, and even slavery are insidious. They start off small and then grow like a cancer until they take over poor souls and an ignorant populace, transforming sinners and society into something soulless. That’s why Paul emphasizes the Cross in so much of his letters. It is the one safe haven for all sinners. It is the one place and time where we can be truly set free. It is the most pivotal event in human history where we, who have been enslaved by obsession and sin, insecurity and insensitivity, rancor and racism, can be liberated by our Deliverer Christ Jesus for all of eternity. Instead of hanging on to our hang ups, we can let go and let God transform us through Christ and His Cross.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, liberate us from our fears and sins, our prejudices and pride, our mistakes and misconceptions. Open our hearts and souls to Your words and ways. Keep us from following self-satisfying paths that lead to self-destruction. Help us to latch on to Your leadership and grant us Your godly counsel in all that we seek to accomplish this day. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.

Stushie is the pastor at Erin Presbyterian in Knoxville, TN. He is also the writer of the daily devotional Heaven's Highway.

No comments: