It was my turn once again to write for the church's blog after a sermon sharing how the sermon related to my life application. It is always difficult for me to write as I feel unsure about my capabilities. In addition, my name is attached and I have to face people who read it the next week.
Today's sermon teaches us about the one-sided covenant that God made with Abram. In Genesis 15:8-11 we read how God directed Abram to make preparations for a visible covenant between the two of them. Just as today it is tradition to make a formal agreement by two people signing a paper contract, it was in Abram's day a tradition to make a formal agreement by two people passing through a sacrificial cutting of animals. While waiting for God to walk through with him, Abram fell asleep. In Genesis 15:17, 18, we read a "smoking fire pot" and a "flaming torch" representing the Lord in Abram's vision pass through the pieces declaring "the Lord made a covenant with Abram." Abram did not walk through; God made a one-sided covenant with Abram.
God does not need us to pledge to uphold our side of the deal because He knows that his children as messed up sinners incapable of keeping a covenant. God is completely capable. God fulfills the covenant with Abram and God fulfills His covenant made for us on the cross.
We also learn in today's sermon in Genesis 12:1-3 that God blesses us so that we can bless others. God will restore His creation through His creation. God shows up in verse 1 and calls Abram to "go" and bless others. I see God throwing out a boomerang of blessings and it bouncing off me towards others and eventually making it back to God when we give Him credit for all that He does through us.
It was all good stuff, but I left church without inspiration to jump start this writing on how to apply these thoughts to my life. Instead of writing immediately so as to keep from procrastination, I began working on projects. One project was my grand idea to take four white terry cloth washcloths and sew them together to make a tub pillow, stuffing it with towels, all washable and comfy.
I do not really like to machine sew, so I grumbled about changing the beige thread and bobbin already in the machine to white.
It was a grand idea until I started and immediately sewed two more edges than necessary. For those that sew, you will immediately understand the test of patience in ripping tiny stitches. Adding the factor of loose terry cloth loops complicates the matter. The 'straw that breaks the camel's back' is the white thread matching the white terry cloth loops. I wished I had my beige thread back! How would I ever manage to rip just the white machine thread and not all the white terry cloth loops?! It seemed a hopeless task.
As I sat pondering my foreboding task, wishing I had used that beige thread, it occurred to me that this was an analogy for the sermon series, "a crimson thread." Oh goodness! If only my thread were crimson I could see it to easily rip it out.
My sin is crimson red and if it were used to stitch together a covenant with God it would blatantly show my flaws and sins. My stitched promises would so easily come out. There is no way my sinful self could keep things held together.
I am so incredibly thankful that God makes his covenant one-sided, stitched in His perfect faithfulness and promises. His stitching woven in His perfect plan holds together forever and ever. No matter how much I mess up, His stitched promises remain never to be ripped out. Even when I am unfaithful, He keeps His promises. Where I am incapable, God is capable.
My sin is crimson red and by the regeneration of our baptism daily and by the forgiveness of God, I stand before Him washed white as snow. My red sinful stitches are covered by His Grace white stitches as God restores me.