Don’t Let the Garbage Truck Pass You By
By Cindy Marino
I want them to have complete confidence that they understand God’s mysterious plan, which is Christ himself. ... that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, so that they may have all the riches of assured understanding and have the knowledge of God’s mystery--Christ. Colossians 2:2
It had been a busy few weeks.The garbage was piling up, literally. The staff appreciation party at the parsonage in January produced Mexican food catering pans, boxes and containers. I still had Christmas wrappings and boxes ready to go. Then came several late Tuesday night meetings in a row. Preoccupied, I forgot to take the garbage cans to the curb for the Wednesday morning pickup. You know that sick feeling you get when you awake to the sound of the disposal truck’s diesel engine as it accelerates past your house? #foreheadslap
I have an extra-large garbage container, but even that wasn’t enough. “Overflowing” doesn’t begin to describe the unsightly array of bags and boxes that accumulated. I did finally make it happen. I’m sure the neighbors thought I was moving out or remodeling when they saw me dragging the construction sized black bags to the curb.
The next morning, I cringed as I looked to see if the guys on the truck had cleared away my pile. No one should have to take on someone else’s excess garbage. But, it was gone—all of it! What a great feeling! Smelly garbage gone! Bags gone! I had my garage and my life back under control.
That might be a bit of an exaggeration—but, only a bit. Little things can pile up!
Lent is the time in the life of the church when we are finally reminded to take the proverbial garbage to the curb. The season of Lent invites us to empty our hearts, minds and spirits of those false narratives we collect to rationalize our lives and make sense of our broken world. We come to this time to dispose of our skepticism, our pride, and our selfish ways. We ask God to replace them with patience, a teachable spirit, faith, and a renewed commitment to love.
This year we are asking a few big questions to get the cleanup process started: What do Christians believe? Why do they believe it? Why does it matter? Using Adam Hamilton’s latest study, “Creed,” we are asked to consider how our behavior reflects those beliefs we find at our core.
We all act out of guiding values shaped by our life experiences. Do those values reflect our beliefs? These are the questions we find as we explore the Apostles’ Creed, the ancient words that have been explored by generations of newcomers to the Christian faith preparing for baptism on Easter Sunday. The Apostles’ Creed outlines the beliefs that shaped the values that guided the early Christian life. Over time, the early church fathers refined the creeds as they drilled down into specifics around how they experienced the Holy Spirit, the Trinity, and Jesus Christ as Messiah.
I am excited to join you in these conversations! We are offering classes and group discussions at several times throughout the week. (For more information, https://www.peopleofgrace.org/creed). The book is also available in the office or Narthex for $15.
Please consider using this time of Lent to sweep out the old and make room for the new. Get to know a few of your fellow garbage collectors. It’s time to kick it to the curb and make room for God.