Down the Drain

A few days ago my sister noticed that the drain outside the kitchen door was not emptying as quickly as it should.  So she called in her trusty handyman who lifted the manhole cover and confirmed that the drain did indeed need clearing.  The next day, armed with his rods and aided by his equally handy brother, he set to work.  Fifteen minutes later, and with fifteen metres or so of rods underground, they encountered a blockage so solid that they couldn’t get through.  By that time the rods were well inside the neighbour’s drain, and when they lifted his manhole cover they discovered it was, as they put it, “Jam-packed solid, right to the top.”  It took them well over an hour of hard, unpleasant work to clear it.  But what surprised them most was that the neighbour hadn’t noticed anything amiss.  He’s had quite a lot of work done on the house recently – solar panels, thermal cladding, new doors and windows – thus ticking all the right eco energy efficient boxes as well as looking good.  But all the time, out of sight and out of mind, a solid mass of putrefaction was festering.

Rather like us, before conversion.  A veneer of respectability, a gloss of good works, a smattering of church attendance, but inside corrupt and loathsome in the sight of a holy God.  The drain couldn’t clear itself, and neither can we make ourselves acceptable to God.  There is none righteous, no, not one…  For there is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  (Romans3:10,23)

Yet in infinite love and mercy, on the Cross of Calvary, the Lord Jesus was made sin for us, and bore the wrath of God on behalf of all those who will come to Him in repentance and faith.  

John Bradford, martyred for his faith in 1555, wrote thus:

Repentance should contain three parts.

Firstly, a sorrowing for our sins.

Secondly, a trust of pardon, which otherwise may be called a persuasion of God’s mercy by the merits of Christ for the forgiveness of our sins.

Thirdly, a purpose to amend, or conversion to a new life.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new…  For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.  (2 Corinthians 5:17,21)

O teach me what it meaneth,

That cross uplifted high,

With One, the Man of sorrows

Condemned to bleed and die!

O teach me what it cost Thee

To make a sinner whole;

And teach me, Saviour, teach me

The value of a soul.


O teach me what it meaneth,

For I am full of sin,

And grace alone can reach me,

And love alone can win.

O teach me, for I need Thee,

I have no hope beside -

The chief of all the sinners

For whom the Saviour died.


O infinite Redeemer!

I bring no other plea;

Because Thou dost invite me

I cast myself on Thee.

Because Thou dost accept me

I love and I adore;

Because Thy love constraineth,

I’ll praise Thee evermore!


Lucy Ann Bennett