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D-120/123, First Floor, Kailash Vaibhav D-Wing
Next to Kailash Complex
Hiranandani -Vikhroli Link Road,
Park Site, Vikhroli (West),
Mumbai 400079
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Ph: 91 22 2572 4191

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Rev. Dr. Cecil Clements,
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Home arrow Articles arrow Sin - It Infects and Affects
Sin - It Infects and Affects

 Once upon a time in the land of tomorrow, the bell rang for what must have been the zillionth time that day. The old watchman of the gate rose from his seat at the magnificent entranceway, and swung open the heavy golden gates. Standing there in front of him, resplendent in the colours of his regiment stood a tall, muscular man, his chest glistening with a myriad reflections that silently informed the old watchman that in front of him stood a man who had faced many storms in the desert. His face however mirrored bewilderment; he seemed a little sad, a little perplexed; a trace of anger could be seen on his furrowed brow. He seemed uncertain, unsure, “Where am I, who are you? And what is this place?” he asked. The old watchman smiled. “Well my friend,” he said, “this is the better of the two options you have when you leave the place you just left. This is the land of sorrow-free living. The land where anger, grief and pain find no place. This is the land of calm repose. But tell me, my friend—your face tells the story of pain, betrayal, and anger. What brought on these dark emotions that have so marred your visage?”

“I don’t know,” replied the newcomer. “No, I do know, but I don’t understand. I was one of the elite. The shrewdest tactician in the armed forces.

I had one of the most astute commanders-in-chief. And yet his actions over the last couple of days had me perplexed. I was out in the battlefield, working on a strategy when my commander told me to go back home. On reaching home I was greeted by the commander-in-chief himself who told me to go and spend the night at home. Now we all know that’s a ‘no no’. That kind of thing is just not done. So I slept in front of the chief’s house along with his own bodyguards. But the next day turned out to be even stranger than the one before. This time I was wined and dined and if I wasn’t so tipsy I could have sworn that I was being given more of the hard stuff than I could take. Again I was told to go home. But how could I? My comrades were out in the field. My conscience wouldn’t allow it. I found a corner near the garrison steps and worked off my drunker stupor in sleep. But the day brought with it yet another strange command. My chief sent me back. ‘Get back to the battlefront,’ I was told, and when I did, I was shocked at the treatment I received. Now I’m no rookie. I earned these medals you see glistening on my chest. I rose through the ranks.

I planned strategy. Arm to arm combat just wasn’t my present style. And yet here I was, sent off on a foolhardy mission that any thinking man in his right senses would know he would not return from. I could have questioned it. I didn’t. After all I was one of the elite and implicit obedience was part of our training. The last thing I heard as I went into battle were the poignant lines that Lord Tennyson would one day write: “Volley to the left of them, volley to the right of them, into the valley of death rode the six hundred.” He paused and his shoulders went into a stoop as if the very re-living of his experience had sapped him of all energy.

The watchman put his arm around him and led him through the gate. “What was your name again?” he asked, “what did they call you down on earth?” The shoulders squared. His drooping form came erect and with eyes that blazed with pride he said, “They called me Uriah the Hittite.” “Then you know David, Israel’s greatest king!” the watchman exclaimed. “I thought I did,” replied Uriah, his thoughts a million light years away. “I thought I did!”

I claim poetic license in writing on Uriah’s death in the context of David and Bathsheba’s relationship (2 Samuel ch. 11-12), but here’s the point—sin infects and affects. And sometimes we forget that the consequences of our sin touch others. Maybe this is the time to turn the spotlight on our lives and ask ourselves how our continued indulgence of sin is affecting others around us. Anger, that’s affecting the peace at home; jealousy that is putting a strain on a relationship; gossip, that is threatening to tear the fabric of a community…and the list could go on. David needed the prophet Nathan to make him realize the extent of his duplicity; I pray that the Lord would search our hearts and reveal to us those things we need to deal with, the things that are affecting others.

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Pastor, Rev. Dr. Cecil Clements 

 
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