An uncontrolled virus threatening unpredictable, systemic international contagion.  Easily transmitted by physical contact but evidence suggests airborne transmission is also possible.  Undetectable in its earliest incubation but can rapidly advance attacking key bodily systems of the victim.  Vulnerable and sensitive lung tissue suffers most frequently, causing damage to the very tissues responsible for pulmonary function.  While for most the actual disease mimics other infections, for a tragic few the result is death.  Communities reacting with anxiety and fear, while those exposed to contagion are quarantined in isolation.  Panic retail purchasing causes shortages of those basic life necessities as nervous citizens hoard basic goods from one another.

Sound eerily familiar?  No I’m actually not referring to the current COVD-19 scare!  The common flu (thus far) has killed far more Americans annually, from 12,000 to as high as 61,000 since 2010 according to the CDC website, than has our current scare.  No, as we enter the first full week of Lent I refer to what the bible calls SIN.  Sin, the Christian narrative’s word for the force and lived experience of our separation from God, the gulf between God’s nature of pure, divine holiness and our broken, inherently rebellious nature.  Sin, not the result of evil but one of its pernicious root causes.

I was a young adult when somehow the Holy Spirit illuminated this truth of existence for me: sin does not demarcate “good” and “bad” people, and sin is also no respecter of persons.  As the Apostle Peter exclaimed so powerfully, the Holy Spirit shows no partiality, thanks be to God, but in obverse fashion tragically neither does sin!  To wrestle with this gulf of separation is to be human, not as God intended as no loving parent ever intends, but simply because we are all infected with this contagion.  To fall short, to not fully reflect God’s divine and salvific love to our selves and our neighbor, to rebel and to stumble and to not submit to God’s highest and best purpose for our lives, to fall into darkness of any kind….this is the existential threat of sin.  I take the biblical summary as my own:  I am a sinful man, broken, scarred and marred by this contagion.  Thanks be to God the deeper truth of the Good News we proclaim is God’s love is so much more powerful than any power of sin, because God’s love can breach the gulf between us in a way my love simply cannot!  Thanks be to God for the saving vaccine for this pernicious affliction!

  1. Have you ever seriously explored the biblical stories related to humanity’s separation from God?
  2. Today, what obstacle, obstruction, or trauma constitutes your lived experience of sin?
  3. If you have never asked God in prayer for relief, healing or removal of the answer to the question above, could you take that courageous step today?

Warmly in the Lord,