It's been said that if there is a pattern of sinful behavior, or some place of unconfessed sin in our lives, the Father will continue to bring us, through the circumstances of our lives, again and again to a face to face "meeting" of those things, until we, in Christ, deal with it.  I believe this is true.  I believe it is true not only for individuals, but for the Body of Christ as well, and the individual fellowships that make up that Body. However, the lack of real spiritual health and vitality in both people and fellowships, seem to indicate "dealing" with these things has yet to really take place.
    There's a passage of scripture in 2 Samuel 21 that is a powerful illustration of how we so often deal with this.  David has replaced his cousin Joab as the leader of his army with a man named Amasa.  Joab was not a man to accept such a demotion in silence.  As the army was on its way to enter into battle against a group of rebels, Joab approached Amasa and took him aside on the road.  As they spoke, Joab pulled out his dagger and killed Amasa.  He then left him lying bleeding and dead in the road.  The surrounding troops gathered around and stared at his body. Seeing this, one of Joab's officers pulled the body of of the road, and covered it with a cloak.  The dead body was there, but it was covered up so that no one would see it.  I think this is a strong example of how so many believers and fellowships alike respond to acts of sin, unconfessed sin, that takes place in their lives, and in their midst.  We pull the corpse, the dead body, off to the side, cover it up as best we can, and then seek to move on, seemingly like nothing has happened.  The problem of course is that the corpse is still there, festering, decaying, and stinking.  We may not see it, and we may do everything possible to keep it covered, but its effects can't be ignored, and those effects will linger and grow worse by the day.
     I think we're very blind to what those effects are, and what they are doing to us and to the congregations we're a part of.  There's a huge difference between the admission of sin and the repenting of it.  Esau could shed tears over the sin of selling his birthright, but he could not, would not, repent of it.  Judas could despair to the point of taking his own life for his betrayal of Christ, but he could not, would not repent of it.  Peter, on the other hand, not only felt the grief of his own betrayal  of Christ, but also felt the brokenness of his failure, brought it to Christ, and in return received His cleansing, His forgiveness, and was made whole once more.  Too often, we in the church are far more like Esau than we are Peter.  Peter, with Jesus, buried his sin, and found wholeness and healing.  The corpse of Esau and Judas' sin remained, along with its stench.  Again, this is true of individuals, and its true of fellowships.
    There have been grievous wrongs committed in so many congregations.  Sinful acts done to pastors by the people, the people by the pastor, and the people to each other.  Often times a pastor will leave this situation, perhaps even be driven out, but the acts leading up to it remain, and too often, the corpse is merely covered up, so that the "business" of being a church can go on.  Yet the corpse will fester.  So often, the thinking is, "We just need to get a new leader in there, a fresh start," but unless the corpse is dealt with, its presence will linger on, affecting every aspect of the fellowship.  On the surface all may appear well, but underneath, in the spiritual health of the fellowship and people, how does the Father see it all.
   What would happen if we who are His, really began to deal with the "dead bodies" in our midst?  What if we began to seek to make right what we may have made so wrong.  I don't mean some morbid "doing of penance," but a grace filled freeing and transparent confession of sin and failure, that will bring forth the fullness of His life and Spirit in our midst?  I believe the effects would shake not only the church, but the communities and world it is in the midst of.  Why don't we, why won't we?  It's easier to keep the body covered, behaving as if nothing has really happened, nothing is really wrong, and as a result, living without the power and wonder of His life moving freely in our midst.  Where are the dead bodies in your and my life?  Will we, with and in Christ, uncover them, bury them, and so, find resurrection life?  Or, do we just go on keeping them covered?

 
Blessings,
Pastor O
 
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