Many years ago, when Benjamin was about 4 or so, we were at home together, sitting on the couch hanging out. If memory serves, we were watching some Yo Gabba Gabba when Ben determined he wanted something to eat. I told him that there were some Ritz crackers on the kitchen counter and that he could go and grab a couple of them if he wanted.
What I failed to remember is that, not only were there those Ritz crackers sitting safely on top of the kitchen island, there were also some cookies located on a corner of the countertop. They were sitting not-so-safely behind several stemmed glasses that had yet to make it into the dishwasher.
Now look, give a kid that age a choice between crackers and cookies and I think you know which one they’re going to choose nine times out of ten. Heck, give me a similar choice right now and I’d probably do the same.
You know, I don’t know exactly how Ben’s thought process went that day. Nor do I know if he even thought much about his actions as at the time as I couldn’t even see him as that part of the kitchen remained out of sight if you were sitting in our living room.
What I do know is that soon after Ben went into the kitchen, I heard a loud crash. Immediately following the sound of breaking glass came Ben’s crying.
Well, every parent knows only too well just how quickly you respond to the sounds of your child’s distress. Like a shot I was up off of that couch, husting into our kitchen.
There, in a corner with seemingly no easy escape stood Benjamin, fully enclosed by shards of glass on the floor. Grabbing for those cookies, Ben had managed to pull two glasses onto the floor, shattering them both.
"Stay there,” I shouted, as I began to chart a way to grab him. Like Benjamin, I was barefooted, but I quickly determined that going downstairs to get a pair of shoes wasn’t really an option. Ben was liable to wander out of his glass-surrounded space during that time, likely cutting his little feet to shreds. Finding what appeared to be a viable path, I gingerly walked over to him and lifted him up.
On the way back to the safety of the living room carpet carrying Benjamin, a thin sliver of that glass embedded itself in my right foot. It stung like the dickens, getting so deeply lodged into my foot that it remained there until Natalie got home from work and removed it for me. And while that glass wedged into the arch of my fright foot hurt, I was really grateful that Ben emerged from the whole ordeal, entirely unscathed.
We continue on with a series called “You Can’t Lose in Jesus Christ.” Last week, we looked at the reality of sin in our lives. It’s a difficult word for us to process in this particular time and place, really. After all, so much of what we’re exposed to tells us in no uncertain terms that we’re special, entitled, above reproach really. Other people are sinful if there even is such a thing, but certainly, it’s not us.
In fact, as we talked about last week, the entire category of sin is under assault. We look at our shortcomings and consider them to be the effects of our upbringing or the manifestations of low self-esteem or societal forces from which we cannot escape. Or by force of will and/or the sophistry of the academy, we come to believe that there is no such thing as sin. We are all, somehow, just perfect exactly how we are.
We live, after all, in a cancel culture, getting rid of anything that remotely upsets us. And what upsets us more than the awareness that we’re not perfect. So, we set about cancelling the concept of sin.
There are two very clear problems with a belief system which cancels an awareness of the reality of sin in our lives. First, if there is no sin, how do we end up lost? Second, and perhaps even more importantly, if we are not sinners, what need have we for a savior?
The Apostle Paul, in the first few verses of Ephesians 2 looks back to a place all of us have ended up, “living in the passions of the flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind.” In such a state, Paul declares us to be “children of wrath, just like all humanity.”