My coffee was still hot. The kids’ breakfast was underway. I settled into the corner of our living room couch, put my feet up, and opened a book. Before I had even set my eyes on the page Evan’s voice hollered from the breakfast table:
I followed his gaze to the floor of our living room, where a Texas-sized cockroach was scurrying across our area rug, darting under the couch in an attempt to escape Teddy, our goldendoodle, who was hot on its heels.
Now we all know where this is going, right? I kill the roach. Dispose of its grotesque, squashed remains. My children hail me as a hero for overcoming my own fear of creepy crawlies, because Dave isn’t home and I am the de facto exterminator.
But maybe not.
What if instead we scooped up this little pest, set up a little roach habitat on a shelf, gave it a name? What if we set a place for it at dinner, fashioned a small, roach-suitable leash and walked it alongside our now thoroughly confused goldendoodle?
What if we – instead of putting it to death – domesticated the roach??
Crazy right? Not what you were expecting for sure.
But don’t we do the same with our sin? Instead of putting it to death, we domesticate it. We say it’s fine. It slips in through the cracks and sets up its home inside our lives. We in turn make small adaptations so it can remain there, undisturbed. It’s not a huge deal. We reason that it’s not really hurting anything that much.
We’ve domesticated our sin.
Scripture unpacks the undeniable truth that there’s sin that needs to be put to death in all of us (Romans 3:23). But Jesus’ redeeming work on the cross has paid the wages of these sins (Romans 5:8, 6:23). And if we allow His Light to flood into the darkened corners of our heart and repent of our sin, He’s faithful to forgive us (1 John 1:9).
Let’s also take hold of this promise from 1 Peter 1:3-4, the verse that our song “A Living Hope” is based on:
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you.”
We give God our grotesque sin, squashed by the power of Jesus. In return we get living hope in the here and now, and an imperishable inheritance prepared for us in heaven.
Jess Ray is a worship leader, vocal director, and recording artist from Houston, TX who serves alongside her husband, Dave, at Salem Lutheran Church. She and Dave are the creators of Doorpost Songs, a series of songs and resources designed for kids worship, multi-gen worship, and family worship. Dave and Jess are the parents of three rambunctious kids, Evan, Jackson, and Addison.