I think pretty much everybody has the same story. Oh sure, in one story the good guy wins, in the next the bad guy, but the plot is the same. I’m always me. You’re always you. God is always God. Sin is always sin. And grace is always grace.
It began with the world.
Just as you and I were born into this world… parents hovering over us ready to grab at us and love us the moment our lungs first struck air. So God hovered over the face of the deep by his Holy Spirit, ready to embrace the creation as it sprung forth from its own watery womb.
Just as we were born infants in this world: screaming selfishly and demanding our own needs be met, careless of the thoughts or needs of parents, depriving them of sleep and money and peace. So the mankind came in the bodies of Adam and Eve who recklessly abandoned God’s commands and desires and put thir own desire for wisdom above their care for God. In them, Adam and Eve, the whole world violated the greatest command: Love God. They failed. So do we.
Just as we, in our selfishness, hurt our siblings, made fun of them, crushed their spirit, laughed at them at their own expense. So Cain despised his brother and killed him. In Cain, the world violated the second greatest command… love your brother (or neighbor). They failed. So do we.
Just as we pursue our own goals and dreams thoughtless of bringing God into the equation. Money, success, bigger, faster, stronger, more prestigious, more recognized, more … more… more. Our thirst for self exaltation brings us to build kingdoms for ourselves that are devoid of God. So mankind, through the tower of Babel, left their God in the dust and chose, rather than to trust God or exalt him, to exalt themselves in the plains of Shinar. They built their tower of Babel, and so we build ours. Neglegent of our God. Forgetting our own maker.
And finally, we realize and acknowledge our sin. . . or we don’t.
If we do, then we know that what we deserve is death. Destruction. To be wiped off the face of the planet. We may even wonder if there is anything in us that is worth saving at all. Even our very best thoughts, our very best deeds, our very best efforts fall short of perfection. We are, alas. Sinners. But calls us to believe that if we put our faith in Christ, if we confess his name and are immersed in his authority, then there is something within us worth saving. And God, by his grace, saves us by the gospel of Jesus Christ.
So the world… In all this sin, because man’s heart was only evil all the time, God was ready for a “do over” and so he created one by calling for a deluge. Yes, there was one man who was worth saving. But even Noah’s family had a measure of dysfunction. But the fleshly minded people of the world had to go. The flesh had to be destroyed. And so God baptized the world.
After God baptized the world, he made the world a promise. It was a promise of grace. That he would never again destroy the world by water as he had done. One baptism. That was it. No more. He put a rainbow in the clouds to seal the promise.
As we are baptized into Christ, God makes us a promise too. He sets the rainbow of his Holy Spirit over our hearts as a seal. A promise of salvation. A promise of grace.
Have you put your flesh to death? Have you let the deluge of baptism wash away the old so that the spirit may be alive in Christ?
Sin is not unique to you. You are not worse than anyone else. You see, the story of the world… it’s your story… It’s my story. It’s our story. It’s a story of sin, death, tragic loss, grace and redemption.
Where are you in the story?