DayBreaks for 10/31/17 – Where Things Go to Die

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DayBreaks for 10/31/17: Where Things Go to Die

Yeah, I know it’s Halloween, and there will be “zombies” walking around carrying buckets and bags for candy tonight. There will be other “undead” creatures wandering the sidewalks and streets, but this DayBreaks doesn’t really have anything to do with dead things like that. But it does have to do with where things can go to die.

I lived on the farm as a kid, and it wasn’t unusual for a cat or a skunk to go into a crawl space that ran under the side of the corn crib when it came their time to die. You typically wouldn’t see them – you’d smell them before you noticed that they were no longer around. And even for us humans, we have places we tend to die: at home, in a hospital, at a convalescent center. After all, we will all die and we need a place where we can do that.

But what I’m interested in today is a lyric from a song in worship on Sunday that talked about the place where all our sin and shame goes to die. That place? The cross of Jesus, of course!

What does it mean that our sin and shame can truly go there to die? It means that I don’t need to feel crushed any longer by the sin in my life, no matter what that sin may be. It is dead. It is nailed to the cross. And I also no longer have to be weighed down with my shame for all that I’ve done, and all the good that I know I should have done, but which I left undone. That shame, the reports of those things, will never be revealed as I’ve been washed clean and carry the shame of my deeds and thoughts no longer. And if my shame were to be revealed, rather than being embarrassed by it, I should exult in the greatness and completeness of His forgiveness and grace. Instead of dying of my shame, my shame died so I can exalt His greatness!

Some dead things, like cats in a crawl space, stink. My sin and shame is dead, too, and the scent of the grace of Jesus accompanies my soul. In the Father’s eyes, it is as if those things never happened for the price was paid that took those things away…forever!  

PRAYER: Thank you for providing the perfect place for our sin and shame to die and be hidden for eternity! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2017 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

DayBreaks for 03/26/12 – A Reason to Die, a Reason to Live

DayBreaks for 03/26/12 – A Reason to Die, A Reason to Live

Sometimes something to die for gives us a reason to live.

What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? – Matthew 16:26

If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it. – Luke 17:33

We cling to life, don’t we?  Just today in the news, it was revealed that Dick Cheney, at over 70 years of age, had a heart transplant.  He had been surviving with a LVAD (left-ventricular assist device) that is essentially a mechanical device that causes the left ventricle of the heart to contract and pump blood.  Without that happening, one dies.

Some medical ethicists are questioning whether Mr. Cheney should have been allowed, at his age and with his other health conditions, to have the transplanted organ or whether it should have been given to a younger person.  I have my own thoughts about that, but the point I want to make is that Mr. Cheney is clinging to this mortal life.  I don’t judge him for that one way or another, for if it is hard to know what we’d do if we’d been in his place.

But cling to life we do.  Why did Cheney do it?  The rest of his life (assuming he recovers from this surgery) will be complicated by the need for tens of thousands of dollars each year for medications.  There is pain and suffering with the surgery.  There is weakness and misery.  Yet we clutch life with both hands, choking every last moment out of it.

Christ challenges us to find something worth dying for in our faith. We’d rather not think about dying or what we’d be willing to die for.  As someone wrote: “The world today prefers to be inoffensively neutral. It does not like having to decide. Dorothy L. Sayers observed, ‘In the world it is called tolerance, but in hell it is called despair… the sin that believes in nothing, cares for nothing, seeks to know nothing, interferes with nothing, enjoys nothing, hates nothing, finds purpose in nothing, lives for nothing, and remains alive because there is nothing for which it will die.’”

One should pause here long enough to ask: if you don’t have something for which you are willing to die, do you have much to live for?

PRAYER: Help us find the true meaning for living by finding what is worth dying for!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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