Trinity Lutheran Church|
Where Jesus' Voice is Heard, Proclaimed and Lived
N60 W6047 Columbia Road
Cedarburg, WI 53012
Pastor's Word for March 2020
"Cold Air Vents"
I didn't really think of this until today.
As I was "recovering" from my blood donation ... OK, so my recovery usually includes three freshly baked chocolate chip cookies AND V8 tomato juice. I find that the juice counteracts any bad effects from the cookies like the sugar and salt ... and fats. I also live in Fantasyland ...
Anyway, as I was saying, during my "intense" recovery from donating blood, I struck up a conversation (I know, I know, it's hard to believe that I do such things) with the gentleman who serves the goodies in the "recovery" room. As we were talking, he mentioned that he recently installed a vent in the cold air return pipe in his basement. He said that he spends a good amount of time in the basement. Unfortunately, it gets really cold in the wintertime. He said that while there is a vent for the heat, there wasn't a cold air vent. He said that once he put his cold air vent in a pipe in the basement, his basement is no longer as cold. That makes sense to me. A circular pattern of air. The cold air gets sucked into the furnace and the warm air has space to fill the basement. Also, the cold air gets displaced with the warm air. After all, there has to be room for the warm air to go.
I wonder if we utilize the "cold air returns" in our lives. Most of us carry burdens whether they are feelings of guilt over something we said or did (or didn't do), feelings of worthlessness when we wrongly compare ourselves to others, or anger at someone else that lasts for a long time. These are only a few of the "blockages" in our lives that may keep us from fully loving God, our neighbor and ourselves.
I ask, why don't we jettison the "baggage" of guilt, shame and other harmful thoughts and feelings through confession and forgiveness? We confess our sins -- personal and/or corporate -- nearly every week in worship and usually we hear the words of forgiveness. We are also able to talk to the person or people who have wronged us or who we have wronged and ask for forgiveness.
Jesus often told the people he was with "your sins are forgiven." Does that make for a clean slate? Is that similar to installing a cold air return in your venting system? Does that make room for the warm love and mercy of God to more fully enter our hearts? Jesus says that a lot because, frankly, we need to hear it a lot and we are in need of it A LOT! Thanks be to God!