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All Saints’ Sunday, November 5, 2023

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All Saints’ Sunday, November 5, 2023

Blood used to be an impossible stain to remove. I know. In my childhood many of my shirts were stained by sudden, frequent nosebleeds. My mother was often dismayed by my arrival home wearing a shirt now stained with blood. What a shock, then, to read in scripture that the saints’ robes have been made white in the blood of the Lamb. I know from experience that blood doesn’t make anything white. It just leaves a dark and nasty stain. There’s no sense to it.

There’s only that great divide, that terrible boundary, the unfathomable chasm between this creation and the new creation. In this creation blood, Jesus’ blood leaves a dark, nasty stain… we are exposed in our guilt… caught red-handed in sin… tears of shame well up… filling our eyes. In the new creation, Jesus’ blood… the blood of the Lamb cleanses, purifies, and makes white every dark and nasty stain… only Jesus makes sense of it.

For the time being… during these days of our baptism…  Jesus himself is the only bridge between this creation and the next. When all our experience can see are dark and nasty stains, we cling to the promise: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation” (2 Cor. 5:17). There, in Christ and only in Christ, we are pure and spotless… our tears of shame wiped tenderly away.

Table Talk: Have your clothes been stained? How did they get clean?  How does Jesus “wash out” the stain of sin?
Pray: Heavenly Father, wash me in Jesus’ blood, make me pure. Amen


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