Monday, December 28, 2015

Take Off Your Shoes!

Happy New Year & Take Your Shoes Off!

When we relocated to North Carolina we learned to offer taking off our shoes before entering someone’s house. For some international cultures this gesture is automatic and not simply an offer. There’s a logic associated with this practice. In the southern states, your outdoor shoes, if not removed, will track red clay residue, prevalent throughout the area, onto rugs and floors. In some cultures, outdoor shoes are considered dirty and inappropriate for indoor use. The Japanese have special shoes or slippers for indoors.

Exodus 3:5 speak of a similar command when Moses approached the burning bush. “Do not come any closer,” the Lord warned. “Take off your sandals for you are standing on holy ground.”

I often thought about that verse. Why remove one’s shoes? Some years ago I heard a sermon on this verse which sounded logical. When you consider all of the dirty and nasty places we may have walked with our shoes, the Lord’s command to Moses made sense. It was a reminder that sin is incompatible with personal holiness and the presence of God.

As we face a new year in 2016, let us make a commitment to pursue holiness in our daily lives. At the same time let us symbolically remove our shoes … that is, try our best to remove sinful behavior from our lives. The good news is that we don’t have to accomplish that on our own. The Holy Spirit will strengthens us on our journey of holiness, but first we have to make the commitment. Even if we misstep we can seek forgiveness from the Lord and get back on track.

Have a successful New Year and watch where you walk!

Robert Parlante
January 2016

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