DayBreaks for 08/26/13 – The Lesson of the Ceiling Tile
1 John 1:8-10 (NLT) If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. 9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.
On Sunday, a man by the name of Kurt Filter was giving a communion devotion that really spoke to me. He described how one time at church during prayer time, he looked up at the ceiling and saw the ceiling tiles (you know, those kind that have the holes in them and they are made out of sheet-rock like stuff, only not as thick and sturdy). He got distracted, noticing how some were water-damaged, others had various stains on them, some had places where they’d crumbled a bit. They obviously were in need of repair and work.
Later on after some time had passed, he looked up at them again and noticed that the maintenance crew had been at work trying to make them look better. They’d painted over the surface of the tiles so that they looked clean and white. But upon closer inspection he noticed that it was the same old tiles. He knew that on the inside, the damage was still there from the water and whatever else had weakened them and made them crumbly and stained.
As we prepared to share in the communion/eucharist together, he suggested that we are a great deal like those tiles: we may do all we can to make ourselves pretty on the outside, painting ourselves to make ourselves look good and “together”, but inside we are stained and that the outside is just covering up what’s inside.
We need to admit what’s inside, what causes us to crumble, what has stained us (sin) and let God fix us from the inside out. We need to be painted by the blood of Jesus that penetrates to our hearts and gives us new ones in exchange for the old, ugly, stained ones we’ve carried for year after year.
I’d never thought about ceiling tiles being an analogy for our human lives before, but it fit so well…we need to confess our sin and not just paint over it, for when we do confess it, God takes the stain away – and we are free!
PRAYER: Lord, we can consume ourselves with our thoughts of failure, guilt and shame! Remind us when we do that You have lifted that off us past, present and future because you are our closest friend! In Your name, Amen.
Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
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