April 18, 2013 #623

Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, robed in white, and where have they come from?” I said to him, “Sir, you are the one that knows.” Then he said to me, “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.   ~Rev 7:13-14 (NRSV)

Our hearts were saddened by the terrorist bombings in Boston on Monday. Yet in the midst of the tragedy the response was heartwarming. The story of people showing up in droves at the hospitals to donate blood was one. Some of those who came to give blood were runners who had just completed the 26 mile marathon. I still remember the first time I gave blood. I was a student at Give Blood!Luther Seminary and my friend David’s wife was going to have surgery. He needed people to donate blood for his wife and so I signed up. I’m not a fan of blood and had almost fainted when I stepped on a nail and saw that my sock was red when I took off my shoe. I survived my first donations and have gone on to donate almost 100 pints of blood. My goal in life is to donate 15 gallons. I was very disappointed when I found out I had cancer because I believed that I would not be able to donate blood again. What a joy it was to find out that after five years of being cancer free I could again donate and have continued to do so. Blood is a gift that gives life to people. It gives me joy every time I am able to do so. In Chapter 7 of Revelation we hear the multitude of people singing praises to the lamb (Jesus). The reason they can sing is because Jesus’ blood has washed away their sin and given them a new life in Christ. Their life (robes) has become white (pure) because of Christ’s forgiveness on the cross of Calvary. Jesus donated his blood, all of it, so that we might have life. This wonderful message is sung in many of the old Gospel hymns. Ponder again the message found in this hymn. “Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing pow’r? Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb? Are you fully trusting in His grace this hour? Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb? Lay aside the garments that are stained with sin, and be washed in the blood of the Lamb; there’s a fountain flowing for the soul unclean, O be washing in the blood of the lamb. CHORUS Are you washed in the blood, in the soul cleansing blood of the lamb? Are your garments spotless? Are they white as snow? Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?”