Old Remedies, Old Gospel

A great many of us are cleaning our homes and removing the excess of clutter and junk which have for years accumulated in our cupboards and crannies. I’ve filled my wheelie bin full of old boxes, broken coat hangers and a host of useless paraphernalia. Three items I found worthy of comment, which I hereby exhibit. 


Number 1, a bottle of TCP. For the uninitiated, this is a foul-smelling antiseptic solution, the bottle of which claims it is useful for stings and bites. In my experience, these two words are fitting descriptions for the sensation one has when applying this liquid fire. On its rear, it tells me it is part of batch 842C, and its ‘expiry’ was Nov 1996. I used to gargle with this stuff when I was in the sixth form. It’s a wonder I didn’t irreparably scorch my vocal cords with its blistering strength.


Next, a bottle of calamine lotion. It’s great for treating dry skin and even acne, but let’s just check the use by date. Oh dear: August 1988. I opened the lid and checked inside- it’s still pink but requires a lively shake.


Thirdly, a small red tub of Brylcreem. Great for teenage boys slicking back their hair and enjoying the benefits of an all-day wet-look. It was purchased in 1991. Sadly, the white cream is now black, though this may be an advantage now my hair is turning grey: all the benefits of Grecian 2000 but without the premium price tag.  


With the exception of this hair cream which has almost certainly outlived its usefulness, I have no intention of discarding the first two. I suspect that despite the expiry dates, one still calms the skin while the other still enthusiastically massacres microbes. Officially, both liquids are useless. In reality, they both still work. 

We live in an age forever looking for the latest idea, gimmick or image. The gospel appears old fashioned and worn-out; to most, it expired centuries ago. Yet like most old-fashioned remedies, it will outlive the modern manufactured fads and solutions supposed to improve them. For an ancient problem like sin and death, one needs an ancient solution- the Good News of Jesus Christ. When people tell you it no longer works or it never did, don’t you believe it. The power of Christ’s cross and resurrection continue to atone for sin and reconcile repentant sinners to God. 

Yesterday, we marked Easter, an event occurring nearly two millennia ago. Don’t let that put you off. The first wheels go back to 3500 BC, and your car still works well enough. Some old ideas are indeed putrid and rotten, turned black with age. God’s good news in Jesus Christ is not one of them. 

For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations. Psalm 100:5