There is no such thing as simply personal, individual sin…. Just ask Adam.

With a small act of disobedience all the forces of hell were unleashed on the world.  The greedy, black fingers of sin were invited into the holiest of places in a moment of distrust.  All creation itself became locked in a prison and cried out with groanings as the gates clanged shut.

In a moment of choice the seemingly insignificant pebble of sin was dropped in the water and the ripples have caused tsunamis across the world and throughout the ages.

A Pharaoh made a decision and thousands of babies were killed, including (eventually) the first-born of his land.  A leader in a local church responds in anger and self-righteousness.  His reactions become a grenade thrown into the middle of a local congregation sending shrapnel into the bystanders.

There is no such thing as just personal, individual sin.  If there was we could contain it, but as it is each transgression becomes an interaction with the mythical Pandora’s box.  Some sinister creature always slips out before we can get the lid back on.

My anger or unbelief or ____________ (insert sin-of-the-day here) affects my children which in turn affects their relationships, their future, etc.  The decay unleashed on the earth through those first bites of disobedience means I hurt with a family whose father is trapped by the cloud of Alzheimers.  It means I grieve with my friends who now have a dead baby – 11 days before his due date.  Our country’s greedy choices mean we watch on the news as our cities fill up with “tent cities” – dwelling places for those who have lost theirs.

Sin brings death in so many forms and its ramifications are incalculable.  It there is anything the Lenten season reminds us is that sin is a big deal to God.

*it causes death and decay

*it severs relationships

*it destroys families and nations

*it causes all creation to groan for release

*it is never an isolated incident. it always gets away and leaves its mark elsewhere.

You see, there is no such thing as simply personal, individual sin….Just ask Jesus.