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And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were
sanctified, you were justified in the Name of the Lord Jesus
Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Corinthians 6:11

Years ago, Pam and I were leading a Christian tour to Egypt.

We, along with our fellow travelers, were awed by the sights
and sounds of that wonderful country of past power. There was
one thing which didn't impress many of the "cleanliness-is-next
-to-godliness" travelers. They were taken somewhat aback by
the dust and dirt that seemed to be encountered everywhere.
One lady, who was either more offended or more outspoken
than the rest, was shocked when she saw a particularly dirty
child playing on what looked to be a village garbage dump.

She complained to those around her: "Why doesn't her mother
do something to clean up her little girl?"

Our guide, a native Egyptian sitting in the front seat of the bus,
overheard her question. Calmly, he reached over and took up the
microphone used to broadcast his narratives throughout the coach.
Without any venom in his voice, he calmly said, "Ladies and
gentlemen, someone has asked the question why would a mother
allow her daughter to get so dirty?"

"I can only tell you this: visitors to our country hate dirt, but they
don't know or love the little children. Mothers of our country know
and love their little children, but don't hate the dirt. Until love for a
child and hatred for dirt come together in one person, these dirty
children you see are likely to remain as they are."

The bus got quiet after that, quiet for a long time.

Partly things got quiet because we were embarrassed that the
question had been overheard, and partly it was because we had felt
we had been quite rightly reprimanded. But most of us were quiet
because we knew what the guide had said was profoundly true.

The guide's words are true for the world, and they're true for each
of us. For positive changes to happen in our lives, hatred of that
which is evil -- and the power to remove that evil -- must be joined

Please let me explain. Almost everyone in the world knows he is
filthy with sin. Most of us hate the evil we do, but we are powerless
to do anything about it. If you look at most of the world's religions,
you will see "deities" who say they have the power to change their
followers, but they are disinclined to do so. For that reason the
followers of those religions feel they must somehow, in some way,
do something to work their way up and earn peace with their god.

But Christianity is different -- and unique.

The Triune God is furious with us for our disobedience and manifold
transgressions. He has told us the soul that sins will die, both
temporally and eternally. Yes, God hates our sin, but He is never
content to let us stay in our sin.

So that we might be saved, God sent His Son into this world.

In the Person of Jesus, hatred of sin and love for transgressors came
together. Through His life, His sacrifice, His substitution for sinners;
by Jesus' suffering, death and glorious resurrection all who believe on
Him are saved. Our dirt has been washed away because justice and
grace have come together in the Triune God.


Dear Lord, I give thanks that in Jesus I have all that I need to be saved.
May my life show my gratitude for His work, by which I am cleansed
and rescued. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Pastor Klaus
(Lutheran Hour Ministries)

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