2:1 You were dead through the trespasses and sins 2in which you once lived, following the course of this world, following the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work among those who are disobedient. 3All of us once lived among them in the passions of our flesh, following the desires of flesh and senses, and we were by nature children of wrath, like everyone else. 4But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us 5even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ by grace you have been saved 6and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7so that in the ages to come God might show the immeasurable riches of God’s grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God 9not the result of works, so that no one may boast. 10For we are what God has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.
March 15, 2021 - Several years ago when I was on sabbatical, I travelled to my cousin’s in Jacksonville, FL. One of her passions was to save the sea turtles, the loggerheads that came up onto the beach every year to lay their eggs. She was a volunteer on beach patrol and while I was there, I walked the sunrise-soaked beaches with her, looking for tracts, documenting the nests, and marking the time. Almost to the day, they could predict when the hatchlings, no bigger than my palm, would emerge from the buried nest to make their way to the sea. One day, we travelled to the rescue hospital for Loggerheads in Georgia where I witnessed a team of vets trying to save a large adult loggerhead. She had a net around her neck and was slowly dying of strangulation. You can imagine how difficult it was for them to gain her trust enough to put their hands near her mouth which could easily take off a hand, to cut away the netting, and then stitch her wounds back together again.
These Bible verses remind me of this time. How unable we are at times to rescue ourselves from the things that strangle us, like sin. We need other hands to release us and stitch us back together. Jesus is the one who releases us when we turn to Him. He, through the cross, stiches us back, like a seamstress who takes great care in her exact stitching, like a vet who uses surgical precision to stich and heal. May we all seek the Lord in our need for rescue this Lenten Season so that we might realize the release and know the health that comes from being stitched together again. By God’s grace, not our works, are we saved.
Blessings, Rev. Sue