Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Fingers Pointing to God

I will make you into a great nation,
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you.
Genesis 12:2-3

Once upon a long time ago, altars were built of rocks.  Rocks piled up in high places like fingers pointing to God.  Altars of sacrifice and worship.  Abraham built the first we know of after his blessing by God - when he was traveling through the land of Canaan from his home in Ur.  He piled up a lot of rocks...was even told to sacrifice his son - Isaac-which-means-laughter.  Told by God to make an altar to sacrifice his only son, his joy, the one named laughter.

But God was only checking out Abraham's faith.  Testing him.  Seeing if he was truly worthy of the role He had planned.  See, Abraham was to be the father of God's chosen people.  All the people on earth would be blessed through him.  He sure piled up a lot of stones.  Not to earn those blessings.  It wasn't like clearing a field for planting.  He piled up rocks to build something out of the earth - something God-worthy.

Rocks - bending my back
Loading up a ton of sin
Altar of darkness

Much later, came another.  Out of Abraham, out of Isaac.  Another man, referred to as Simon.  A man Jesus called.  He said Simon was his rock.  He renamed him Peter.  Rock.  He said you can't build a good foundation on shifting sand; floods will come and wash it away.  Destroy it.  A good foundation is built deep, is dug down, to rock.  Solid.  Strong.  Peter would be the rock for His church.

"Forgive me!"  I cry
On my knees in prayer to Him
Jesus.  Amazing.

So, I'm thinking about rocks today.  Our sins, our mistakes, our bad choices are like rocks.  We can choose to pile them up so they weigh us down with guilt, with despair, with sorrow.  Or we can choose to ask for forgiveness -  to clear them away like rocks in the field - for our sanctification, for our growth.  Sins can be used - been there, done that, won't do it again.  Those rocks, those burdens can be used to build a foundation in us - a foundation based on experience, a foundation of wisdom, a foundation for our future choices.

A gift undeserved
Grace.  Freedom.  Burden lifted.
Go and sin no more

Jesus forgives.  He died so we could be made new.  He can take those sins from us, those rocks, the very ones that bend us in half under their weight - and make altars from them.  Castaway stones, littering the ground.  Discarded sin, forgiven sin - hope for the future, faith and grace.  Piled up in high places.  Fingers pointing to God.

Oh God, thank you for taking away my sin, my burden of rocks - thank you for helping me to build an altar of faith and grace.  You.  Are. 

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