Last night at lifegroup we all found ourselves in awe of how well our passage for the night (James 4) tied in with Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent. We talked about the desires that battle with in us (vs 1-3), submitting ourselves to God and resisting the devil (vs 7), about grieving our sins and being humble before God (vs 8-10), about being ourselves and not judging others (vs 11-12), and remembering that we really are nothing but God loves us anyway (vs 13-17).
My personal favorite moment of the night was when we got into a discussion based off of verses 4-6 about how God is a jealous God… how he wants ALL of us and doesn’t want (or deserve) to be second to ANYONE or ANYTHING. It was hard for us to really grasp our minds around God’s jealousy because in our frame of reference, it’s hard to see a time when jealousy isn’t sin. As we searched for answers we landed at one point in 2 Corinthians 11:2-4 where we are reminded that we, the church, are Christ’s bride… he our one husband. Between these verses and the original passage in James calling us “adulterous” people, I remembered one of my favorite songs, “Wedding Dress” by Derek Webb.
As I pulled up the song and we listened to it last night, I was in awe again of how fitting this song is for Lent. It talks about how we really have committed adultery with so many things around us, yet, God makes us knew again… white… like a wedding dress and invites us to run down the aisle to Him. WARNING: This song does use a few words to describe us that are a bit stronger (yet very biblical) than “adulterous people”. As blunt as he is in this song, the only offense I found myself taking was because it’s so true… we often sell ourselves out to things and people and forget our first love, Jesus. It’s a great reminder of how big God’s grace is as verse 6 of James 4 states:
“But he gives us more grace…”
I invite you today to join me in listening to this song and remembering what awful, sinful people we are… and then, remembering that God gives more grace… grace bigger than any thing we could ever do… grace bigger than any thing we might avoid doing… grace bigger than ANYTHING. It covers us, pure white, like a wedding dress. And even when we go and get that wedding dress all dirty, he clothes us and cleans us again and again and again with a grace that is greater.