Remove the Tarnish

In preparation for the upcoming holiday season, I set out to remove the tarnish from several silver pieces. Because I barely managed to purchase presents last Christmas, little else was accomplished. That included polishing silver.

Well. I did swipe tarnish remover across the topside of one tray, but didn’t bother with the underside. No one would see it, right?

My thesaurus describes tarnish with these words. Stain, taint, soil, smudge, and the mark of Cain. I found that last one an interesting reference to Adam and Eve’s son, Cain, who killed his brother, Abel.

As I rubbed liquid tarnish remover over the same silver tray I half-polished last year, I thought about sin, and how it tarnishes us. The side I skipped took longer to remove the tarnish than the side I cleaned. No big surprise there. But as I worked on the neglected underside of the tray, I thought about how difficult it is to remove sin – tarnish – from our lives if we don’t deal with it fully and completely when it first crops up.

I don’t believe it was the noxious fumes from the tarnish remover that sent my thoughts this direction, but it might have been.

According to Educational Innovations, tarnish is the result of a chemical reaction between the silver and sulfur-containing substances in the air, which forms black silver sulfide. This silver sulfide is what we call tarnish. Perhaps you already knew this.

The silver sulfide can be removed by stripping it from the surface. This can result in removing some of the silver along with the tarnish.

Another way to remove the offending tarnish is to reverse the chemical reaction and turn the silver sulfide back into silver by dipping the silver piece into a liquid designed to dissolve the silver sulfide. Or by applying the liquid with a cloth. Either way, after the tarnish remover is applied, the piece should be washed.

Thinking about reversing the effects of silver sulfide, and sin, I thought of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. Yeah. I know. My thoughts go all over the place.

After the White Witch slays Aslan the Lion, death works backwards. Aslan is resurrected. The effects of Edmond’s sin, for which Aslan died, are removed. Edmond’s relationship with Aslan is restored. A great battle ensues and the White Witch is defeated. YAY!

Thanks be to God today the taint, stain, tarnish of sin has been removed from those who profess Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Christ’s blood sacrifice dissolves our sin just as surely as liquid tarnish remover dissolves the effects of silver sulfide on silver.

We might believe we only need to clean the outside to look good to others, but Jesus cleans up the inside. The more important side. The side he sees.

I find it utterly amazing Jesus would do that for us. We must never forget the baby in the manager is also the Savior on the cross and our resurrected Lord who sits on his throne waiting for the day his father says, “Go get your Bride.”

Realizing there are fewer and fewer of us who actually polish silver nowadays, might I suggest as we remove tarnish from our silver, we consider what it cost Christ to remove the tarnish of sin from our lives.

Whether we polish silver or not, each of us should deal with our sin quickly and completely. It only gets more difficult to remove the longer we put it off.

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Under the old agreement the priests stood before the altar day after day offering sacrifices that could never take away our sins. But Christ gave himself to God for our sins as one sacrifice for all time and then sat down in the place of highest honor at God’s right hand, waiting for his enemies to be laid under his feet. For by that one offering he made forever perfect in the sight of God all those whom he is making holy. Hebrews 10:11-14 (TLB)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Sunday Scriptures — Don’t Trade What Is Right for What is Wrong

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

In The Lion the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, Edmond trades what is right for what is wrong. His life was demanded in return for his  unwise choice.

If you haven’t read the book, or seen the movie, spoiler alert ahead.

While in Narnia, Edmond trades his soul to the White Witch, that most beautiful lady, for a box of candy; Turkish Delight. He decides to trade what is right for what is wrong. When the White Witch demands Edmond’s live in return, Aslan the Lion, willingly trades his life for Edmond’s.

At the hands of the White Witch, Aslan is sacrificed in Edmond’s place.

BUT.

The witch did not know the power of Aslan. She did not know he would be resurrected. She did not know Aslan would defeat her in battle.

It’s easy to point out the folly of Edmond’s selfish choices and decisions. If I really consider the truth, however, I realize I’m not so different from Edmond. I’ve made poor selfish choices and decisions myself.

I’ve traded what is right for what is wrong. Maybe I haven’t been tricked by a box of candy, but I have allowed myself to be tricked by the father of all lies, Satan.

Maybe you have as well.

We think we’re standing pretty solid in our faith walk and aren’t as vigilant as we should be. Satan shows up and offers us whatever Turkish Delight will tempt us. We accept the candy he peddles. It’s really rather tasty. And like Edmond we have a choice of where to place our allegiance.

Do we become enslaved to the provider of the confection which only gives momentarily delight, or do we place our hope and trust in the One who frees us from our chains and provides us with eternal life?

Do we trade what is right for what is wrong?

Fortunately for Edmund, Aslan willingly traded places with him and satisfied the penalty of death the White Witch demanded with his own life.

As those who belong to Jesus through our faith in him, we have the Messiah, our Savior, our King who traded places with us and satisfied the penalty of death sin demands with his own life.

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Keep awake! Watch at all times. The devil is working against you. He is walking around like a hungry lion with his mouth open. He is looking for someone to eat. 1 Peter 5:8 (NLV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Sunday Scriptures — A Lion We Need Not Fear

By Sandy Kirby Quandt

I’ve never come upon a real-life lion outside the confined safety of a zoo. Although I cried during the movie, Born Free, and the thought of an African safari intrigues me, I’d still rather the lions were kept a safe distance away.

Jesus is called the Lion of Judah. He’s also called the Good Shepherd who laid down his life for his sheep. Those two images seem at opposite ends of the spectrum to me. Just as being called a Mighty Warrior and the Prince of Peace do. Nonetheless, that’s what he is.

In The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Susan asks the Beavers about Aslan, the true king of Narnia, the object author, C.S. Lewis used to symbolize Jesus:

“Is he – quite safe?  I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.”

“That you will dearie, and no mistake,” said Mrs. Beaver, “if there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.”

“Then he isn’t safe?” said Lucy.

“Safe?”  said Mr. Beaver.  “Don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you?  Who said anything about safe?  ‘Course he isn’t safe.  But he’s good.”

Jesus has won the victory over hell, sin, Satan, and death. One day he will return. When he does, we shall behold him face to face. At the sight of the Lion of Judah I believe we may either appear before him on our knees, or with our knees knocking.

Either way, at the name of Jesus all shall bow in heaven, on earth, and under the earth.

Jesus is one Lion we need not fear. He is a lion I am looking forward to meeting up close and personal.

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But one of the elders said to me, “Do not cry! The Lion from the tribe of Judah, David’s descendant, has won the victory so that he is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.” Revelation 5:5 (NCV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Turkish Delight

In 1980, 2nd Chapter of Acts recorded a wonderful “Musical Journey into the Wonder of C.S. Lewis’ Narnia”, The Roar of Love, available at their store.

When I taught 4th grade students in Florida, one of the novels we read was, The Lion the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. During our unit on the book, I brought in The Roar of Love. My kids adored it! Especially the funky, Turkish Delight.

This morning I listened to the CD for the first time, in too long a time. When Turkish Delight rolled around, I was reminded of how Edmond traded his soul to the White Witch, that most beautiful lady, for a box of candy. Turkish Delight.

As those of you who have either read the book, or seen the movie know, Aslan, the lion, willingly trades his life for that of Edmond. At the hands of the White Witch, Aslan is sacrificed in Edmond’s place. BUT. The witch did not know the power of Aslan. She did not know he would be resurrected, and would defeat her in battle.

So, I’m dancing around the room to Turkish Delight, and I stop. I’m not so different from Edmond. I’ve sinned. I’ve traded what I know is right, for what I know is wrong. Maybe I haven’t been tricked by a box of candy, but I have allowed myself to be tricked by the father of all lies, Satan.

Fortunately, just like Edmond had Aslan, who was willing to trade places with Edmond, and take the penalty of death that was due Edmond, we have Jesus Christ, the Messiah. Our Savior, and King. Jesus took the punishment that we deserved. Jesus paid with his life, so we wouldn’t have to. Amazing Love.

Someone has put the entire CD of The Roar of Love on YouTube. If you want to just listen to Turkish Delight, fast forward to around 8 minutes.

Since there are sooo many wonderful Christmas songs, and this is the season, as Lucy in A Charlie Brown Christmas says, for Ho-Ho-Ho. Mistletoe. And pret-ty girls. (She forgot to mention the Savior’s birth, didn’t she?) I have decided to add one of my favorite Christmas songs to each post this month.

Hands down, this is the first song I remember hearing, and loving. Here is Nat King Cole singing, The Christmas Song.

What is the first Christmas song you remember hearing?

I wish you well.

Sandy

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