As they blissfully delight in the very thing that will destroy them, the ants in my house are teaching me about human sin and the poor stewardship that results.
To stem an infestation, I’ve set out bait stations that lure the ants with a sugary syrup that drives them wild. But the syrup is laced with borax that will eventually kill the whole colony.
Poor, dumb critters. They can’t help but follow their instincts to gorge themselves, even as their colony slowly dies. Their brain capacity is weak and their feeding pattern is hard-wired into them.
Just like human sinfulness. As a species, we persist in lifestyles that are making us stressed, fat and sick. We continue to smoke and drink. We glorify empty sex lives that are anti-family, anti-marriage and spread dangerous diseases. We use violence as the primary way to resolve conflict.
Through overconsumption, we continue to waste resources and energy despite global warming, loss of wildlife habitat, a widening gap between rich and poor, and rising rates of cancer and other diseases. Like those ants, we march on blissfully, being poor stewards of our lives, our health, our relationships and our planet. Poor, dumb critters.
Sin is not what we do; it’s what we are. The Lutheran prayer of confession puts it well: “We are in bondage to sin and cannot free ourselves.”
Thank God this is not the end of the story. We cannot free ourselves, but we have faith in God, who frees us. Jesus dwelled among us and died because of our sin, but he rose from the grave without our sin. Through our baptism into the life and death of Christ we are made new and free.
When we repent of sin we return to our baptism, clean and free again. Poor, dumb critters, but critters strengthened and transformed by the power of Christ.
Copyright (c) 2005, the Rev. Rob Blezard. All rights reserved.
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