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Whose trash?

Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.
Isaiah 1:18

The altar was for sacrifices. Of public worship, of thanking God, of commemorating his presence. Of atoning for guilt…

Sacrifices made communion at the table possible. Without the cleansing, you couldn’t sit at the table.

Without the removal of sins, you’re too unclean for the banquet feast.

Saturday night
I notice the trash. empty_me The kitchen garbage can is full. 

And I’m beginning to fill  up, too.
I don’t empty either.

I will wait this one out.

Sunday morning
Newspapers, wrappers, cans – all being gently balanced atop the growing pile of garbage. Can’t anyone besides me see it needs to be emptied?

But not me. Not this time.

It’s become a test. How long will the trash sit there before someone ELSE takes it out?

Sunday afternoon, 2:00
Back home from church. I covertly glance at the can out of the corner of my eye. Still full. Ugh. Now fuller. This is getting ridiculous.

But, hey, not me.

Sunday afternoon, 2:30
I open a book. About the altar. About the table.

The altar, the cross of Jesus Christ, was a means to an end. It was the penultimate act of God in order to bring about, through atonement, the ultimate intent of God, which is communion.

The altar was an act of self-humiliation for the sake of the table.

The Spirit breathes out. Self-humiliation? I gulp him in.

The altar, in terms of its goal, serves the table. …Atonement secures communion. The cross grounds the table.

I take another deep breath.

The cross grounds the table.

Taking out the trash grounds the relationship? Yes. Me taking out the trash (altar/self-humiliation) for the sake of the relationship (table/communion).

O, Lord. I finally see. Again. Whose trash? MY trash. I’m the one piling it on.

It’s my garbage. My pride. My rebelliousness. My selfishness.

My sin.

I need to notice its ugliness, smell its stench. And throw it away. You’ll get rid of it from there.

I empty the trash.

Sunday night, 7:30
I confess my pride in our small group. And I then sit, with a clear-conscience and a healthy appetite, at the table of communion and enjoy the meal.

I’ll continue to produce trash. I’ll need to continue emptying it. Daily. Hourly, as needed. Make a clean sweep, and let Father burn it up.

Then I’ll commune with him at his table. The one grounded by the cross.

So throw all spoiled virtue and cancerous evil in the garbage. In simple humility, let our gardener, God, landscape you with the Word, making a salvation-garden of your life.
James 1:21

And he said to all, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.
Luke 9:23

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aimee said...

Thank you so much... I have some trash of my own to deal with.


Trishw said...

What a description...not just of some of the days in my home, but of my heart too.

Thank you for sharing.

Debbie Petras said...

Lisa, I'm so glad to see you participate in this meme. It's my first time but I'm loving it. Speaking of trash, I too have much of it. I want to come before the Lord and lay it all down and not pick it up again and again.

Blessings to you,

Elizabeth Dianne said...

Oh wow, Lisa, this really spoke to me and I just hope I don't recycle this garbage. Thank you for adding a touch of the everyday to help us clearly see the divine. An art! God bless.

Lynn Severance said...

Lisa - you know my single status and that I live alone so ALl kinds of trash is either dealt with by me or ?????

Good thoughts and insights, as always. I appreciate your blog o very much!

Bless you!

shayndel said...

I appreciate your musings and insights.
I often pick up 'trash' and see it as treasure. Actually I have a whole blog about this process, and I agree we can see the divine in everything:)


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