Monday, March 01, 2010

Paint goes on Paper not People

About once a month the bell choir plays in church.  Since I am in the bell choir I have to be at the 9am service to play.  Since I am a college student, I typically stay for second service too before going to lunch.  So, about once a month I get to hear the same sermon twice in one Sunday.  This is not neccessarily a bad thing, because it means the second time around I can listen differently and reflect more.  Both very good things. 
Yesterday's sermon text came from Colossians 2:13-15 which, in the NIV reads: When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
Pastor Jon talked about a lot of things, but what I focussed in on was verse 14: "having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross."  I liked verse 15 too, but verse 14 stuck in my brain.  Pastor Jon talked about the written code and explained that it was a very technical term. 
In New Testament times, when Paul was writing this letter, if you needed to borrow money, you went to the equivalent of a loan shark and told them how much you needed to borrow.  The money lender then had you sit down and write out, in your own hand writing how much money you were borrowing, when you were going to pay it back, and what was going to happen if you didn't pay it back.  That way, when you failed to pay back your loan, he could take you before the judge and show the judge the agreement in your hand writing...there was no getting out of it.
With that understanding we looked at the passage again.  Pastor Jon said that satan had a type of written agreement against each of us.  A list of our sins and short comings and he uses that written agreement to condemn us.  After all, it is in our own handwriting.  However, Jesus wrestled that agreement away from satan and it was nailed to the cross with Jesus.  He took our condemnation upon himself.
The first time heard the sermon I just sat in that truth (and made faces at the super cute baby sitting behind me).  The second time I was already dwelling on that truth when Pastor Jon got to it. While he was talking a line from a song popped into my head (as lines from songs are prone to do when I am being comptemplative) along with an image.  So I grabbed a note card and made a sketch. 
I spent rest the afternoon painting instead of doing my homework.  I think painting was clearly a better choice.  Now while I was painting, the hockey game was also going on so I was following it, and I got a phone call so I was also talking on the phone, and I was listening to, remembering the rule that paint goes on paper not people got a little tricky.  I ended up with large amounts of orange paint in my hair, and lots of other colors on my arms and hands, but it happens.  Here's the results of yesterday's comptemplation:
Christ took my "written code" and nailed it to the cross.  I bear it no more.  But he didn't just take my written code, he took everyone's written code...they are all on the cross and we bear them no more.  I know of no better news.

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