First Christian Church | Pittsfield

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The Purging Process

06.27.18 | Michael's Corner | by Michael Ten Eyck

    This week is kind of a crazy one at the Crossroads Center.  We have just hosted several large events, culminating in a wonderful wedding reception.  (Thanks to all of the church family who helped out in those receptions!) And now, this week we are refinishing the floors.

    It has been a while since the floors were done.  As I watched the chemicals and the machines strip off the layers of finish from the floor I was struck of all the events that have happened on them since the last finishing.  

    There were specks of glitter from formal events that had worked into the wax.  There were scuff marks from boots. There were scratches from rocks that had gotten stuck in shoes, stains from spills, as well as tar that had been tracked in and ground into the finish.  

    Some of these marks were from joyous events, while some were from sad occasions.  A few, I’m sure, were due to carelessness, while still others were simply the normal result of a building’s usage.  Whatever the cause may have been I was left with this observation: life leaves its mark on us.

    Our intended and purposed shine can be dulled by the simple fact that we experience so much in our journey through life.  As I watched the process remove all of the finish, what was left was dull and vulnerable but in the process of restoration.

    It occurred to me that there are times in our life when it is needful for us to go through similar processes as well. Like Joseph’s season serving in the prison, David fleeing from Saul, or even Paul facing seasons of discouragement and trial, there are things in our journey, both positive and negative, that we should be mindful to allow to be dissolved from us.  

    Failure to regularly engage in such a purging process will ultimately hinder us in terms of our spiritual growth. When we hold on to the negative too long we can become wounded and embittered, while the positive can lead us to prideful self-reliance.  Both of these can hinder the reflection of Christ to emanate from our lives.

    This is one reason that I appreciate the communion table so much.  At the table, every ounce of pride, vanity, and self-reliance are melted from our being in the consideration of the price of our salvation.  At the table, every mistake, wound, and failure of this life’s journey finds gracious renewal in the sustaining sacrifice of the cross.

    Perhaps that is why we are exhorted to one simple act as we come to the table…remember.  

    Remember how great is the Father’s love for you.   

    Loving you all,
    Michael