Tuesday, March 01, 2011

The Gospel According to My Closet - White Pants (Rachel Ramsey Matthys)

On most days, I eat lunch with Rachel Matthys in our cafeteria. Rachel is one of our talented faculty members as well as wife to Troy and mother to Nathan, Cana, and Isabel. We were having a noontime discussion today and Rachel used a terrific illustration. I asked if she could write it down and let me use it. Here we go!!

While having a random discussion with a friend before Sunday school this week, I stumbled across a small bit of revelation.

I was wearing my new favorite pair of crisp, white pants. I had just bought them at Banana Republic as an end-of-school present to myself (and yes, I bought a lightweight spring sweater and coordinating cami to complete the ensemble). I LOVE white pants and crisp white shirts. There’s something very refreshing about a clean, bright white article of clothing. I anticipate the wearing of my white pieces every spring.

As our pre-Bible class “social hour” rolled along, a friend sitting behind me commented on my courage to wear these bright white pants. A perfectly reasonable comment coming from a mother of 4 to me, a mother of 3. I consider the possible dangers I may encounter each time I put on any one of my several pairs of white pants—will I be in the classroom at any point during the day? Am I going to encounter any art projects? What will I be eating for lunch? What will the kids be eating for lunch? Is it going to rain, thus endangering the hems of my cherished pants? These are very important questions. I responded to my friend that it’s not that I’m a remarkably clean person. Chances are, something is going to get on the pants. I am not particularly confident that my white pants will make it through the day unscathed. But still I LOVE my white pants! My confidence lies in my dry cleaner. So far, there is nothing they can’t get out. I once made it through an entire fajita-stuffed baked potato… until the very last juicy bite went all over my white linen pants. But my hero the dry cleaner triumphed again.

Now here’s where the revelation comes in…
Our class is beginning a study of 1 John, one of my favorite books, and we were discussing what it means to “walk in the light” (based on 1 John 1:5-9). As the discussion went on and I continued to read over the passage, I began to realize that “walking in the light” does not necessarily mean doing right. Verse 5 says that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. In darkness, flaws can be hidden. In the light, all flaws are exposed. Textile translation: in black pants, fajita stains are barely visible; in white pants, it’s no secret what you had for lunch. Consider the rest of the passage (v.6-9):

6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Walking in the light is a willingness to expose/admit to our sin rather than concealing it in the darkness. With our sin—our stains—exposed, it is evident that we need a cleaner. How wonderful is it that we have the perfect Cleaner in Jesus!? Verse 9 says it: if we confess (reveal or expose) our sins, He is faithful to make us clean—whiter than snow!

God bless,
Luke 18:1

E-mail me at steve@hawleybooks.com

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