A few years ago some friends of mine travelled to Colombia to help with the refurbishment of a children’s centre in one of the poorest districts in the city. But a brief inspection of the building revealed a problem with the ground floor toilets – they’d never been plumbed in! Rather than being connected to a waste pipe connected to a sewer, they simply emptied into a void underneath the building. The gradual accumulation of waste had rotted way the foundations and the whole building was now unstable. Any idea of refurbishment had to be abandoned and instead the building was condemned before it fell down.
The waste may have been out of sight, but it was destroying the foundations, and as for the building so too for our lives. We all accumulate the ‘waste’ of sin as we go through life but what do we do with it? Do we just bury it and hope everything will be OK? St John sums up the Good News of Jesus like this, ‘If we confess our sins [Jesus] is faithful and just and will forgive us and purify us from all unrighteousness.’
Like a properly plumbed in toilet, then, Jesus takes our ‘waste’ away preventing it from causing lasting damage.