The first thing I must own is that there is no place in a new heaven or a new earth for the ancient dirt that clogs my soul, no place for the fetid fury that clings to my speech, nor for the old-as-Cain hatred of brother that kills me the moment that it kills you.
Is baptism with water the washing away of sin itself? No, only the blood of Christ and the renewal of the Holy Spirit can cleanse us from sin. (New City Catechism)
God, no water is enough.
Stains worsen when washed deeper in;
this is the deepest, from Adam to now.
can wash away blood;
only pure Breath can restore breath.
Nothing giving; the remedy hurts worse than the ill.
Yet grace gives us this:
gentle water as symbol,
another’s death as the price, impossible signed
in this simplest plunge,
taken right back to the source.
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we have also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Well: perhaps, you went to church the day before,
Heard Jesus hailed as promise kept, as wise
Old Simeon and Anna wept and saw
The saving one, a babe before their eyes.
Perhaps you picked some turkey from your teeth
And thought of all the washing to be done,
The relatives all gone, so now relief
From cooking up a storm for everyone.
Perhaps the Christmas tree is drooping now;
Perhaps the pool gives comfort in this heat.
Perhaps there’s too much light going around
And, victory done, you fancy quiet defeat.
Keep watch: He grew and walked and made His way
For summer sinners who always doze astray.
Only by faith in Jesus Christ and in his substitutionary atoning death on the cross; so even though we are guilty of having disobeyed God and are still inclined to all evil, nevertheless, God, without any merit of our own but only by pure grace, imputes to us the perfect righteousness of Christ when we repent and believe in him.
What else does Christ’s death redeem? Christ’s death is the beginning of the redemption and renewal of every part of fallen creation, as he powerfully directs all things for his own glory and creation’s good.
(New City Catechism)
Yet the cost went deeper than souls
and weathered the tree-trunks
and withered the whole.
The cost ate into friendship
and sucked all the marrow
from health and heart’s-ease.
So the victory’s deeper too
than our sin:
the redemption stretches vast across bowers
and sucks sin’s curse from earth’s veins.
Look on Him now: the one whom we’ve slain
in the truth which digs deep into soil
and restores the broken earth whole.