This message on a bin in a local park isn’t really that surprising. It’s the kind of thing we tell our kids all the time. In fact, this week, before bedtime, my 4 year old son told his little brother to ‘tidy up the blocks, you tipped them out.’ We instinctively recognise there is responsibility to deal with the mess we create. I think it’s IKEA who have signs in their eating area which read ‘this is a self clearing restaurant’ Which doesn’t mean it tidies up itself but rather we need to take our tray back to the stand, we need to do it ourselves. DIY – it’s what you’d expect in a place that sells flat pack furniture!
Too often in the church we end up communicating the same message as the bin to a messy world. “Clean up your act’ or ‘sort your life out.’ But this is not good news. It is not the message of the gospel. We don’t gather on Sundays to worship Jesus because He looked at our messed up lives and said ‘If you want to be clean, then do it yourself” We worship Jesus because He comes to us in all our weakness, brokenness and mess. He comes as the only One who has a clean act. He lived a life that was not littered with lies, jealousy, impurity and greed yet, at the Cross, He picked up all this stuff from us. We messed up and He cleaned up. That’s Good News. Disciples of Jesus are those who recognise they are a mess and cannot clean up their act. Disciples look at the 10 Commandments and realise that these are impossible instructions beyond our ability to DIY. We are incapable of self clearing or self cleansing. We need someone to do that for us. The incredibly Good News of God’s grace is that there is One who has. It’s why we worship Him.
.. the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:7