She used to sit within the walls of an apartment that was too old to be innocent. The inside walls could hear the sin on the outside walls and nobody wanted to hear these walls talk. She drew her body into itself as the empty echos mocked her naiveté. The cabinets didn’t even bother to make room for dishes she didn’t have. No food is a good thing when the refrigerator would have been cool enough to give her hope, but warm enough to spoil it.
Heat from the asphalt tried to melt her tires as she twisted and turned the hunk of steel on wheels through streets of people who do the same thing every day with no hope for it to ever change. They sleep in homes they barely own and work jobs that pay just enough to sustain them and chain them. They add people to their lives trying to give it more meaning. The blue peg husband and the pink peg wife. The car can only fit so many extra pegs and they take turns spinning the wheel and counting the spaces.
Some of them found a place to worship something besides the wheel. They worship sin. They teach lessons about it to clarify every aspect. They sing songs about some variation of life in relationship to it. She’s a head full of lessons with a certificate that says she’s someone special.
The key, she learned, was to keep sin at the center. Always know where it is, always walk like this, talk like this, eat like this, speak like this, smell like this, dress like this, be here at this time, stand at this time, cry at this time, nod at this time, kneel at this time. Keep yourself busy enough, covered in rituals and oils, speaking sanctuary utterances and slices of ancient scripture. Don’t bother sin and sin won’t bother you.
Worship of a dead god is futile no matter what name you give it. Sin is dead and what’s dead can’t hurt you anymore. There is a point when you can be so terrified about ruining a relationship with someone that you fail to have a relationship with them.
With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death. God went for the jugular when he sent his own Son. He didn’t deal with the problem as something remote and unimportant. In his Son, Jesus, he personally took on the human condition, entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity in order to set it right once and for all. The law code, weakened as it always was by fractured human nature, could never have done that. The law always ended up being used as a Band-Aid on sin instead of a deep healing of it. And now what the law code asked for but we couldn’t deliver is accomplished as we, instead of redoubling our own efforts, simply embrace what the Spirit is doing in us. -Romans 8:1-7 MSG