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January 6, 2022

Have you ever been flyfishing?

I enjoy it, especially the environment that surrounds the sport. It’s beautiful and rugged, peaceful and wild. I’ve been fortunate to flyfish in the Colorado Rockies for brown trout, but my main fishing hole is only four hours away on the western edge of North Carolina.

A group of us likes to leave on a fall or spring Thursday as the sun rises, so we can set up camp and spend a few hours wading through the stream before dark. Our spot is very remote. No running water (besides the stream we camp beside), no bathrooms, no power, and no cell service! It’s almost like heaven on earth. Now, my wife would beg to differ, but the guys and I think it’s amazing.

By the time we pack up and head home on Sunday, we’re a cacophony of smells. Campfire smoke blended with sweat, fish, and dirt. Plus a few other notes we pick up along our journey. The welcome home hugs I receive are always a sign of grace and my family’s ability to hold their breath.

Before closing the book on another great adventure, there’s one final glorious touch… Taking a Hot Shower! I know you’ve experienced it. The hot water cascades over your head and across your neck and back.

The water drips from your face as you watch the dirt wash down your body and puddle around the drain. It’s just a shower like you’ve had thousands of times, but this shower feels better because you were so dirty to start with. When I’m done with a shower like this I let out a big exhale, as if I’ve risen from the ashes.

Have you experienced the feeling of being engulfed in dirt and grime then being the cleanest of clean? What a sensation it is to go from filthy to washed anew. The New Year always reminds me of new beginnings. A fresh start for us all.

That’s the heart of Christianity. Jesus washes us clean by His atoning death and healing resurrection. A hot shower after a camping trip can hint at cleanliness, but is still a far cry from the redeeming work that Christ offers you and me. As the old church songs reminds us,

White as snow, White as snow, Though my sins were as scarlet,
Lord I know, Lord I know, That I’m clean and forgiven.
Through the power of your blood, through the wonder of your love,
Through faith in you I know that I can be–white as snow!

Will you pause as we begin 2022 and consider the grace and mercy Jesus is offering when you place your faith in His work on your behalf?

Go ahead and take stock of your sinfulness. Recognize it as the filth that it is and the rottenness it has wrought in your heart and mind. Then confess your hope in Christ and your dependence on Him for salvation and an abundant life. Thankfully, Jesus desires to receive dirty people like me and you.

Let’s go to Him and be made clean. It’s time for a new beginning.

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Jason and his wife DeAnne have 3 kids and have called the River Region home most of their lives. A former Family & Student Minister who, together with DeAnne, launched KeepSharing LLC to publish local family and faith resources across Alabama and the Florida Panhandle.

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