05/05/17 - Pastor Young
Have I ever told you about the time I thought I was an artist?
When I was in Year 9, I did an art class in high school, remembering that I had enjoyed drawing growing up. Unfortunately, my rose-tinted brain neglected to remind me that I hadn't drawn anything beside cartoon doodles for years, and that this skill also wouldn't be very helpful for the ceramics course that I was now a part of.
I realised I was in over my head when I saw my classmates working on amazing looking pots and vases with intricate patterns. My ashtray looked pitiful in comparison -- I couldn't even get that looking the way I envisioned. My output humbled me as I examined it objectively.
This is perhaps a similar situation we ought to find ourselves in when we examine our faith (or lack thereof), and realise how far we fall short of God's holiness. Our sin stains our hands with the deepest tar, no matter how we scrub at them with our righteousness.
But as we examine John the Baptist's teaching, we are not left hopeless. Even as he tells all who approach him to examine themselves and turn in humility, he points them toward the one who can forgive them, the one who provides by grace the faith that can cleanse us. "The Mightier One" that John speaks of is coming soon for the people, and the Baptist tells them to prepare the way to their hearts for Him.
Jesus takes our sin-soaked hearts, hardened by years of pride and denial, and gives us new hearts of flesh that beat once more for God. He takes our hands and washes them clean.
He even takes the misshapen clay of our striving and creates something beautiful out of them.
May His grace create something anew in you,