‘I was born and raised down in Alabama; On a farm way back up in the woods; I was so ragged the kids would call me patches………’ lyrics that begin a famous song by artist, Clarence Carter. I remember patches too – the kind your mother would sew on your clothes when you wore a hole in the knees of your pants, or the elbows of your shirt. My brother and I spent most of our time on knees and elbows; so mom was kept pretty busy patching our clothes – a task not high on her list of things to do, as I recall from the occasional swat after a particularly nasty rip!
Sometimes it seems we follow a ‘patches’ theology – the thought that if we patch-over the sin in our lives, the hole doesn’t exist anymore! God does not call us to a ‘patches theology’ – as Christians we are not called to patch our old way of life, but to be made new again by the power of the Holy Spirit. Paul says this in 2 Corinthians: ‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.’
If you take an old, well-worn garment that has a hole and patch it with a piece of new material that has never been washed, your patch will rip a larger hole in the garment. Hebrews 12 says : ‘let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.’ Lord, by the power of Your Holy Spirit, create a new heart and renew a right spirit within me! Galatians 6:14-16 ‘May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation. Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule, even to the Israel of God.’