When I was about nine and attending Sunday School, large cardboard blocks laid stacked against the wall for free time. They looked like real oversized bricks, allowing us to build life-size forts around the room. They were usually our favorite things to play with.
One morning, the teacher called us to our seats. She sat at her table and started talking to us about Jesus and His love for us. She picked up a block and placed it in front of her. She reminded us that Jesus loved us so much that He came to earth to die for us. She told us how it was so important that Jesus lives in our hearts. She stacked a large block on top of the first. She talked about how just like we have an earthly father, we have a Father in heaven who loves us. She arranged another block. Another example, another cardboard block. With just a few examples, while we could hear what she was saying, we couldn’t see her. We wanted to see her as she told us the story. So someone in the class asked her if she could move the blocks. That’s when the real lesson began.
Sometimes, she said, sin is like that wall she had in front of her. When we have Jesus in our hearts and sin, we put up our own block. It doesn’t seem so bad and we don’t ask for forgiveness. It’s just a block. But then we sin again. Another block goes up. And brick by brick, we create a wall between us and God. We can hear Him and He can always hear us, but it’s a wall between us that doesn’t let us have a real relationship that He really wants to have with us.
When we talk to God and ask for forgiveness, the bricks are removed. And she pushed one block off and then another until they were all back on the floor. We could see her again. We could hear her better. When the bricks were removed we could have a real conversation filled with interaction.
When God gives forgiveness, He breaks down that barrier. He removes the shame, judgment and condemnation and replaces it with a love that only He can give. Our closeness is restored to the Creator.
I pray that each of us removes any bricks that may be holding us back from having full communion with God.