7 Browley Street, Moss Vale NSW 10am Sunday Worship Service

Highlands Post Column Mar-2014

Highlands Post (Outreach Media)

I have two conflicting forces at work within me. On the one hand, my Scottish heritage drives me to avoid waste. I try to be a good steward of whatever resources God gives me – recycling, improvising, repairing, … hoarding! When my children were little I saw it as a challenge to fix their broken toys rather than to discard them for something new, particularly when I realised that the manufacturers were equally committed to designing the toys not to last too long, and developing plastics that no glue would stick to! I am not comfortable with our increasingly ‘throw-away’ society with its planned obsolescence. I remember reading Vance Packard’s warning about the danger of this over 50 years ago in his book, ‘The Waste Makers’.

The exciting thing about the Christian Gospel is that God does both these things in us. The Apostle Paul makes the bold claim: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17) – a whole fresh start. Theologians call this ‘Justification’. But a little bit before this he says: “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this allsurpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; … Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” (2 Corinthians 4:7-8, 16). God continues to work on our old, messed up lives to fashion us ‘day by day’ into the shape he wants us. This life-long, and often slow, process theologians call ‘Sanctification’. I for one am very thankful that God is into both justification and sanctification: that he accepts me as I am because of what Jesus has done for me by dying in my place on the cross; and that he patiently works on all the rough corners of my life to make me more like Jesus!

Bruce Christian.

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