Friday, March 11, 2016

Are You Washed?

I have always enjoyed Vachel Lindsay's poem entitled "General William Booth Enters Into Heaven."  When I first heard it in high school literature class, I certainly did not know that I would use in countless times in sermons preached over a lifetime.  If you have never read it, find a copy and read not just the one stanza quoted in this blog, but the whole thing.  It is an exciting poem filled with powerful spiritual images. 

Booth led boldly with his big bass drum—   
(Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?)   
The Saints smiled gravely and they said: “He’s come.”   
(Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?)   
Walking lepers followed, rank on rank,   
Lurching bravoes from the ditches dank,   
Drabs from the alleyways and drug fiends pale—   
Minds still passion-ridden, soul-powers frail:—   
Vermin-eaten saints with mouldy breath,   
Unwashed legions with the ways of Death—   
(Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?)   
Of course, one of the recurring themes is "the blood of the Lamb."  In that Biblical writing known as Revelation, there comes that moment when the writer addresses the question, "Where are the martyrs?  Where are the persecuted ones who died faithful to Christ."  "Who are these, robed in white, and where have they come from?"  is the question of the text.  And the answer given is, "These are they who have come out of the great ordeal; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."  (Revelation 7:13-14)  Oh, the power of the blood of Christ! Oh, to be washed in the blood the Lamb!  It cleanses us and makes us ready for heaven.  "Are you  washed in the blood of the Lamb?"

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