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Birdbrain Robbin' My Sanity
by Alan Allegra
4/15/2018 / Devotionals
I’m sitting here tense and wary. There is an intruder on our property, and I have to watch out for him — or her. It’s hard to tell.
The beginning of spring brings many familiar signs, from the buds on the trees to the tiny lilacs to the OPEN sign at Rita’s Italian Ice. Oh, and the snow, but that’s another story!
Spring has brought another intruder that is very familiar: a robin. Actually, there are rounds of them, but one in particular is particularly annoying. He (or she; it’s hard to tell) has befriended — or be-enemied — my wife’s car. The bird flutters at it, pecks on it, sits on it, and . . . embellishes it. All day. When that car is out, the bird uses mine as a proxy. Granted, both cars are blue, but even a birdbrain couldn’t mistake them for eggs!
And so, the ritual begins: wet the sponge, wipe the cars, watch the driveway. Happily, the cars don’t need a thorough washing; it’s too cold for that anyway. They just need to have the spots washed off. It’s like the days of ancient Israel, when people wore sandals to tread the dry, dusty roads of the Middle East. At the end of the trail, the traveler needed to wash his or her feet.
Jesus used this custom to teach his disciples about keeping their spirits clean. At the Last Supper, Jesus washed his disciples’ feet (John 13:1–11). When they protested that the Master should not stoop to such a menial task, Christ said they needed their feet washed, but only their feet; the rest of their body was already clean.
They missed the spiritual significance of Jesus’s statement, but let us not miss it. Once a person is saved, or cleansed, the blood of Christ bathes them all over and need never be applied again. This example draws its significance from Israel’s Passover, where the blood of the lamb covered the doorposts so the death angel would pass over that house. The occupants of that dwelling were now saved (Exodus 12:13). It is the same when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior; we are saved from eternal death.
However, walking through a dirty world, we pick up the soil of sins that defile us. These sins cannot undo the cleansing that saves our soul, but they need to be sponged off. Just like we have to dip the sponge into a bit of soapy water, we need to dip, as it were, our hearts into the blood of Christ to get the full cleansing effect. This is done through confession by faith. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
We can never lose our salvation; we are sealed by the power of the Holy Spirit, waiting on the loading dock of life for Jesus to return to take us home (Ephesians 1:13, 14). “But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace” (2 Peter 3:13, 14).
When we purchased our new cars, we would have been grossed out had the cars had bird dinkies all over the paint. The cars would be intact, but we would have demanded a clean finish. When Jesus returns for us, the least we can do is present a clean finish!
Alan is Content Coordinator for Lifestyles Over 50 (Thrive Media) and contributor to the Allentown, PA, Morning Call. He is also an adult Sunday school teacher and Bible study leader. Passionate about reviving theology and church methodology, and being a senior citizen!
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