Friday, January 21, 2011

The dung pile of my life...

The fact that our back porch is covered did little to prevent almost 8 inches of snow from blanketing the entire area. Rarely, and thankfully, do we ever get such snow falls here in the south. Some of our neighbors live on dirt roads and were snow-locked for a week. With only a handful of snowplows in our town there was no way they could cover all the back roads in our rather large county.
With all that said, in spite of the inconvenience, fender benders and missed days of work, it was a most dazzling display of God's power. While man had all his plans laid out for the week, 8 inches of billowy white stopped him dead in his tracks!
It brought to mind a quote from Martin Luther I heard once, and don't have any real validation for its authenticity, but went something like this, "Our sins are like dung piles, and God's justification is like the first snow that blankets the land. The dung pile is still there, but it is hidden under the snow. It no longer is even noticed." Thus the declaration that we are forgiven covers our sins and brings great peace.

Someone made argument that if I could not cite the quote he made, I should not make it. One writer went on to say, "
Funny thing about that quote—despite years of Lutheran seminary education, and experience as a pastor, and the reading of umpteen volumes of Luther's Works, I have never come across that quote in print, nor have I ever heard it from the mouth of a Lutheran. Yet it is a favorite of Luther's critics. I asked renowned Luther scholar Eric Gritsch about this, and he replied that it does exist somewhere in one of the "Table Talks" (after dinner ramblings written down by Luther's students—not reliable sources for Luther's thought), but even he couldn't give me a reference.

I guess that makes for a good point, but honestly, the truth of the quote is what I am after. When I looked across our yard and into the woods, it looked like a completely different place, one I hardly knew. Isn't that what we hope fore when our sins are forgiven and washed away? That all those who look upon the landscape of our life might say, "That is not the same man I once knew."


Karen Price said...

The snow was pretty. When it melted a little then froze it left a shiny glaze. It had me singing "Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow". Dazzling display of God's power indeed!

Puritan Dilemma said...

I agree, a beautiful display reminding us of God's grace and how it covers our sins!

Pastor Josh said...

Before this post I didn't know that the snow quote could not be directly traced back to Martin Luther. When I looked that tidbit up, I also realized how how widely critized that illustration is. Not that I'm surprised, truth about God's method of saving us will always be attacked. Thanks for standing firm on the truth!