When we first built our house we planted grass in the front yard but didn’t have grass in the backyard for a few years.
Enter a beautiful summer day, four little kids, a water hose, and one mom who is distracted in the kitchen.
At some point I wisely or mistakenly look out my kitchen window to see four laughing, delightfully happy, mobile blobs of mud. Here is where my jaw goes slack and eyes grow wide.
What in the world?
Where will I even begin to clean them up?
So I let them play long and hard in the mud, since the damage is already done. When the fun must come to an end I retrieve said water hose and inform them it’s time to get cleaned up. Now you must know we live in Montana, and water, even in the middle of summer, comes out of the house at hypothermia-inducing temperatures.
Then comes the screaming, and suddenly the water hose has become the child’s enemy. I inform the precious ones, however, that not one of their pinky toes is crossing the threshold of my home until at least enough mud has been removed that I can see their skin.
Oh, such cold misery and wailing from young mouths.
Finally, I deem them acceptable to go hop in a hot shower and do the detail washing, although still I must take a small scoop shovel to clean the tub afterward.
Welcome to the Kingdom of God, my friends, where all are most welcome who have been having a good romp in the mud.
On coming into relationship with Christ, first stop is the cold hose and then gradual move to warmer waters for the detail work.
But rest assured, at the end of this clean-up process we’re gonna be clean behind the ears, to the scalp, under the fingernails, and between the toes. Worthy to be wrapped in a snow-white towel.
Like my little niece here, so cozy!
“Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation.” (Colossians 1:21-22 NIV)
It’s worth it, yes? A bit of discomfort to get to the “without blemish” part?
Wash us, Lord, wash us.