By Rev Alan Millar
While in Canada, one of the houses my wife, Iris, and I lived in was supplied with water from a 20 foot deep well. A pump in our basement drew the water through a pipe connected to a foot valve at the bottom of the well.
One winter’s day, when the snow was deep, the feed pipe developed a crack, sucking air instead of drawing water. We sent for a guy to fix it.
Meanwhile, to get water for cooking, I collected snow in the largest pot we had, to overflowing, and began to melt it on the stove. It is surprising how little water a full pot of snow produces. The snow, which had just recently fallen, was crisp, was blindingly white and looked clean. It reminded me of the phrase, ‘as pure as the driven snow.’
When the snow had melted I discovered on the bottom of the pot a considerable amount of dirt. The snow had contained bits of dirt I didn’t see because of its brilliant whiteness.
The snow reminded me of the words of Jesus concerning the Pharisees, Matthew 23:27 - “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.”
How many of us church people are like that? Are non-Christians fooled by our outward appearance? Please don’t be offended, for the apostle Paul wrote: “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”
If we want our insides to reflect what others see on the outside we must honestly confess our pride and hypocrisy for we read in 1 John 1:9 - “If we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
We all are in need of God’s forgiveness. So let each one admit our sinfulness, so that our lives, all that we do and say, will reflect the glory of God the Father, whose glory was seen in Jesus Christ, or as we sing in the old hymn: “Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me, All His wonderful passion and purity, Oh, Thou Spirit divine, all my nature refine, Till the beauty of Jesus be seen in me.” (Albert Orsborn/Tom M. Jones)