“I will write it on their hearts;
and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people.”
- Jeremiah 31:33b
Dear Cleansed Christians:
The other day I had to stop by Staples to buy a cable connector for a computer laptop and projector. While checking out, the cashier let me know that my purchase qualified for two free hand sanitizers. I figured these would be tiny travel-size bottles, not much more than an ounce. But, she came back with two full sized bottles and put them in my bag, saying, “it’s always good to have a few extra on hand, you never know when you’re gonna need it.” It’s amazing what a difference a year makes. Just last March, people were buying up and hoarding as much of the stuff as they could find. By the end of March, no store within a thousand miles even had one ounce of the stuff left, let alone two full sized bottles that they could just give away for free.
Do you remember what made those bottles of hand sanitizers so hard to come by last year? In economic terms, it is called “Supply and Demand”. The world was just entering the pandemic and the demand for a way to keep your hands clean and free of the virus was driving down the supply so much that eventually it had dried up all stockpiles in stores and warehouses across the world. The worry and fear of the unknown new virus caused people to seek ways to protect themselves and not get infected. The world went all out looking for a way to be sure they were safe.
Well here we are, a year later, once again in March. We have come around again to the time of Lent in the church year, a time in which we learn about the washing that will sanctify us and keep us safe in God forever. The world worried extensively over the pandemic, seeking those bottles of hand sanitizers to wash and make themselves clean. But we know nothing we do can clean us permanently, only in the waters of baptism and the Word of God can we be made clean. And it is not by our own doing, but by the grace of God.
This is the gift that is given freely to everyone through the love of God. It can never run out and can never surpass demand. And not like the free bottles I got with the comment, “you never know when you’re gonna need it,” the baptism of God is needed forever. This lent may we take time to reflect on our baptisms and give thanks that we have a Lord who washes us clean forever.
In the peace and grace of God, Pastor Kirk Griffin