One of my favorite commercials is promoting utility of Cascade. The daughter is describing the extent to which her mother washes, scrubs and cleans dishes before she places them in the dishwasher. The child is confused as to the purpose of the dishwasher as a result of her mother’s prepping before use. The commercial suggests using Cascade as an alternative because it doesn’t require one to “pre-work.” I absolutely love it. It reminds me of one’s apprehension to come to Christ. We somehow believe that we need to “clean up” before we “show up,” and that’s just not reasonable, realistic or required. So, to apply Cascade to Christ, “So what does the dishwasher do?”
The dishwasher, aka, Jesus, just asks us to simply believe. Any other conditions are manmade and not intended for daily use. All we need is wrapped up in John 3:16, a simple but powerful verse many learned early, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” Coupled with confessing our sins, believing that Christ will return and asking Him to live within our hearts and mind, that’s about all that is asked or expected. We can’t stop enough of what we perceive, or the perception of others before we step towards Christ. It is impossible. Besides that was never the expectation. We live in a world that lives out loud and then criticizes when seen. Yet, judgement has been in full existence since Biblical days. And even then, there was Christ, encouraging us to seek Him despite our past, our mistakes, missteps and the like.
Even as a person who has accepted Christ, we still fall short. As we continue to evolve with being better stewards of our finances, our thoughts, our actions, our health, our dreams and our aspirations, may we also learn and practice more grace toward ourselves. The cleanup process is ongoing. It’s like the dishwasher that never stops – but thank God we are not required nor authorized to operate in isolation. The dishwasher, aka Christ, loves us through our mess, our grease, our stains, and stuck on stupid. He loves us despite where we’ve been, what we’ve done or what we are planning even in our unconscious. He loves us when we are kind to others, and when we ignore or treat His creation inappropriately. He loves us through our disappointment, hurt and dare I say, even anger with Him. He loves us through our timetables, our deceit, our selfishness and pain. In fact, He loved us before we even were born. Jeremiah 1:5 reads, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” The beauty here is not only were we known but we were destined. We nor our missteps took God by surprise, and despite these facts, we were still sent into the earth.
Growing up, we didn’t have a dishwasher. Accordingly, I learned to wash dishes by hand – a practice that does not give me joy. Today, we have a dishwasher, and yet, I rarely run it, because I wash dishes by hand, obviously continuing my insanity. Go figure. In life, we often walk out and carry burdens unnecessarily. In our home, the dishwasher sits next to the sink, just as Christ sits next to every situation or problem we encounter. Like the dishwasher, Christ saves us time, energy and allows us to shine with little effort on our own. In the words of Cascade, nothing cleans better.