You step into a repurposed old brick building onto a concrete floor. You pass a wall of hanging succulents and nearly trip over a hand-made, steel and plywood stand with six different local food magazines. You stop at a beautiful, locally sourced, wooden countertop where you can choose from exactly five different combinations of caffeine and milk. Don’t ask for sugar; you will be removed. A macchiato never includes caramel, and it’s a drink sized for a squirrel. You’ve entered a hipster coffee shop. If you just realized this, you’re probably not a hipster.
Visit this shop often, and you may find yourself shopping for tighter jeans, new glasses, and a fixed-gear bicycle. However, the chances of the baristas and regulars trying to look and act more like you, are slimmer than their pants. This is exactly what the prophet Haggai was explaining to God’s people in Haggai 2:11-14. Their acts of holiness weren’t making their sins holy. Their sin was defiling their whole beings.
Pastor Craig put it like this, “Sin is like spaghetti sauce. It stains everything it touches.” This means all of our efforts at holiness are weighed down by sin and fall short of lifting us to God’s graces (Romans 3:23). That’s where this really great, old hymn comes in. I can almost hear it playing at the coffee shop I’m sitting in.
“What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
Oh! precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.”
Are you living like your good deeds will outweigh your sin? If heaven really exists, you think you might get in? If so, you’re like khaki slacks in a hipster coffee shop. Outnumbered and up a creek without a flannel and a hand-carved paddle.
What can wash away your spaghetti stains? Not helping others. Not a healthy family. Not responsibility or intelligence. Not pleasing your parents. Not managing your money wisely. These are all good, godly things. But they’re simply not enough. Nothing we can do is enough to reach God. Nothing but Jesus in your life is enough.
Want more Jesus? Try one of these coffee-inspired practices this week.
- Steep daily in the presence of your Savior. Listen to worship music and meditate on what He’s done in your life.
- Drink the good stuff. Like this freshly brewed Bible Plan.
- Spit out the lukewarm stuff. Ask the Holy Spirit to point out the stale parts of your heart and to fill your cup to overflowing (Revelation 3:15-17, Psalm 23:5-6).