Dear Cobham Park Church Family,
Sniffle…cough…sniffle…cough. Ugh! Colds are a bummer—especially when you catch one during a pandemic. What was once a seasonal annoyance now becomes a high-stakes medical crisis. My kitchen counter was recently littered with tissues, cough drops, pills, NyQuil bottles, and COVID test kits (which were thankfully negative). In my misery, I was willing to try anything to hasten my recovery and return to healthy life. But as we all know, medical science has not found a cure for the common cold. The body must fight off the virus
from within; one can only rest and wait for a cold to run its course. At
best, various medications can only treat symptoms and help the
natural process along.
Our sin-sickness reminds me of the common cold. Sin’s selfish and distorted thinking infects humanity and has no medical cure. Unlike our battle with the common cold, however, we can’t naturally fight off sin. If you follow current events, you’ll see ample evidence of rampant sin-sickness in every political group, class, and culture. This predicament is far more serious than the sniffles. Sin is a fatal disease of the soul. It makes people miserable, discontented, fearful, and mad enough to kill. Hundreds die from sin’s effects every minute. At best, over-the-counter religious and ideological remedies only address sin’s symptoms—leaving the underlying spiritual illness untouched.
Enter the love of God. His love is more real and effective than anything we humans can muster. We typically think of love in terms of emotional highs, warm affection, or sexual thrills. Such “love” may make us forget our misery for a while, but it can’t really cure what ails us. Meanwhile, God’s love powerfully works to heal from within. I Corinthians 13 famously describes what God’s love looks like when it takes root in our lives:
Love…is patient…kind…does not envy or boast…is not arrogant or rude…does not
insist on its own way…is not irritable or resentful…does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth…bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things…Love never ends…the greatest of these is love.*
When was the last time you saw that sort of love in politics, international affairs, the entertainment industry, or even religion? Only God’s love can cure our common sin. And this is where it begins:
But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us…
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life (Romans 5:8; John 3:16).
So stop counting on self-help solutions, feel-good fixes, and quack-led noble causes. Go to the Great Physician Who still makes house-calls. You can be confident that “…God is love (I John 4:8b)!”
In His Love,
*All Bible quotes from the English Standard Version