Sin and a Loss of Suction

Eric and I own an upright bagless vacuum. Right now it might as well be a pile of plastic, because when it comes to removing dirt off the floor, it’s worthless. When we first bought the vacuum, it worked wonders. About a year after we bought it, we noticed that it would begin to smoke halfway through vacuuming a room. Eric would take it apart, remove the clogs, replace the belt, and it would work for a while, but eventually it would repeat the same irritating cycle. Recently I noticed, while vacuuming our linoleum kitchen on the bare floor setting, that not only does it hardly pick up any dirt, but the dirt that it does pick up, it spits right back out behind it. 

Dirt.

When all that dirt is embedded in the carpet, depending on what kind you have, it often goes unnoticed. You may not realize how dirty your floor is until you notice the bottom of your sock is collecting hair and filth. While searching under the couch for the remote, you may actually see the dirt while your eyes are just inches away from the pile. If you’ve ever removed a clog from your vaccuum or even emptied the canister, though, you know how dirty your floors were, and it’s a little unnerving.

Even though your dirty carpets may gross you out a little (especially when you look at the photo above), it doesn’t shock anyone. No one is surprised to find dirt in their vaccuum’s canister or bag. As annoyed as we all get when our vaccuum is clogged, we’re not surprised at that either, because pretty much all vaccuums clog. There’s a reason it is so easy to find replacement parts for vaccuums, and there is a reason people so often purchase new vaccuums: it’s generally accepted that vaccuums eventually lose suction and begin to suck. (pun intended.)

I suppose you’re wondering where I’m going with this, and I assure you I do have a point.

You and I, we are upright bagless vaccuums. We are roaming around in a sinful, broken, fallen world full of grime and filth. If we were perfect, like Jesus, we would be able to propel through the dirt and clean it without it compromising our integrity. But we are not, because like the world, we are also all broken. Not one of us is exempt from getting clogs that prevent us from being effective. Every single one of us is spitting grime back out left and right as we maneuver through life. For those of us who are parents, that is heartbreaking because we  realize that our children will not escape untouched. No matter how badly we try to be the perfect mother or father, inevitably we will fail at some point and cause damage in the lives of our children. They will begin to lose suction just like we have. They will also clog. They will also spit their filth back out on others and the painful cycle of sin will continue.

But it doesn’t have to. Not indefinitely.

For those of us with broken vaccuums, Dyson claims to be the savior, parading their ‘no-loss-of-suction’ vaccuums with hefty $500 price tags in front of our smudged noses. But the message of the cross is even better, because Christ himself paid the hefty price.

Only Christ can take us apart, pull out the clogs, clean the filth, replace our broken souls and restore us. Through Christ’s redemption, we are like new. We are effective again and we are able, by his power, to plow through the muck of this world without it compromising our integrity.

Some of you are stuck. You’re looking at the filth you’ve spilled and you’re ashamed. You keep removing the clogs yourself and inevitably, the smoke returns, the suction is lost. But God has a promise for you. He has offered his life for you. He has promised to restore you in his time, permanently. We were never meant to be left in the dark, unable to fulfill our purpose. Christ has come to restore us into right relationship with God, to allow us to fulfill our original purpose, to be free from sin and live as we were intended.

This Christmas, we will celebrate his coming to earth for the first time. He was born, he lived for thirty-three years and he was crucified.  Not one of us could afford the price.  He died because only a perfect man could pay the price for all of us. He came for the broken vaccuums. He is coming back to clean up the dirt.

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