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Posted: February 21, 2013 9:35 p.m.

An impossible laundry list

“So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. Because of these sins, the anger of God is coming.

"You used to do these things when your life was still part of this world. But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander and dirty language. Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds.

"Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him. In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us.”

Colossians 3:5-11

Laundry and dirty dishes are a fact of life. No matter how much we do our laundry and wash our dishes, it is a never-ending job. You can do the dishes in the morning and before the evening, the sink is full of dirty dishes again. No matter how much time you spend doing those “chores” around the house, there’s always more to do. Some people make it their life’s ambition to keep all the laundry completely washed up and all the dishes completely cleaned up. I think if that were my ambition, I would be washing something nonstop with no time left for anything else.
Lent is a time for examining our lives and our own personal laundry. When I look at the long laundry list in Colossians 3 of those things that we should clean out of our lives, I think that on the surface, it looks hard, but doable. But the deeper I delve into this long list of sins and things that weigh us down as Christians, I think that the job is far bigger than I am prepared to handle.

Thanks be to God, Christ died for a laundry list just like this one. Only through Jesus’ suffering, death and resurrection can we handle this kind of list. In fact, if I even try to rid my life of some of these things, I will fail miserably. It is only when Christ changes my ambitions, my desires, my longings, my hungers from the inside do I hunger and thirst after righteousness.

What laundry do you need for Jesus to help you take care of today?

Rev. Jan McCoy is the associate pastor of Covington First United Methodist Church in downtown Covington. She may be reached at jan.mccoy@ngumc.net or at covingtonfirst.org.

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