RELIGION: 'Garbage' by Pastor Rodney Tilley

BY RODNEY TILLEY,
Pastor Van Horn Community Church

This last week we had the annual Van Horn Spring Clean, a day when groups compete to see who can collect the most garbage and through the process make Van Horn a more pleasant place to live and to breathe. Of course, it is a lot of fun with various individuals trying to outweigh the others in the collecting of waste and debris. I am sure this week the paper will acknowledge all those that helped in the process, but with everyone getting a “high five” for a job well done.
 
 But I noticed one thing that bothered me as I collected the trash from the alleys behind the houses. There on a trash can behind a church was a sign that read, “Jesus Saves,” and it was written in bold letters on an old rusty 55 gallon drum.

I thought how disrespectful and how disconcerting for someone to take the name of Jesus and reduce it to that level. I mean I know “Jesus Saves,” but he is not saving garbage on some back alley in a corner of Van Horn, for we are talking about the creator of the universe not some unlicensed graffiti artist. But maybe I was mistaken, for in actual fact, he is doing just that.

 Jesus is saving and taking my garbage of sin, of shame, of hurt, of loss, and removing it from my life and taking it to the refuse pile and forever burying it along with your waste as well. It has accumulated over years of neglect and it has piled up high into every crevice of our lives. That garbage is beginning to stink and the neighbors are complaining and are talking about us behind our backs. The garbage has got to go, and now I realize that all we need to do is to take the trash out and leave it and let Jesus carry it away. 

 On Saturday, the garbage was gathered by the tons, and that weight of trash was carried away from the city and was deposited into outlying areas, never to return again. That sure sounds like you and I for the weight we had in our lives; the garbage, the sin, when lifted fills like a ton taken off of our shoulders.
 
I still am going to ask permission to paint over the sign, “Jesus Saves” because it looks so cheap to put our Lord’s name on a refuse can, but it did get me to thinking, and hopefully it will get you to think as well and finally give the garbage to Jesus. Paul in the Bible wrote, “….Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners- of whom I am the worst.” (I Tim. 1:15) In other words, he was saying he was the bottom of the trash can, but Christ took it away, and for that I too can say, “I am there with you Paul.” Take the garbage and wash me clean- I am beginning to smell even to myself.

For more information on the saving and the cleansing power of Christ, call: Pastor Tilley at 432-207-0015.