As I write this, I am seated in the Starbuck’s of a Barnes & Noble in Las Vegas. “Sin City.” I am exhausted. I am hungry. I am over it. As per usual, sin is not all it’s cracked up to be.
For one thing, there’s the definition of sin. That thing is so far off base at this point it’s not even funny. “An immoral act considered to be a transgression against divine law” is how Google defines it. They aren’t wrong per say, but they aren’t exactly right either. People, religious nuts parading as “Christians” in particular, tend to throw this word around like a weapon. They use scripture in a similar way. They have deeply missed the point, and ironically, that’s exactly what sin is.
The original meaning of the word “sin” was simply “to miss the mark.” It’s pretty clear, if you get to know God and his kick ass Son, that this is exactly how it was always meant to be used. Also, there’s this whole issue with mistranslation of the original Hebrew word, which would have meant to miss the mark as well, but I digress…
Over the last couple days in Vegas I have seen people gambling and drinking and smoking and all kinds of potentially sinful things. Now sure, some of them were for sure sinning. That’s just a numbers game right there. But not all of them were. It’s incredibly pious and judgmental to think otherwise.
Do I think you’d ever find Jesus in Las Vegas? In the famously named “Sin City”? I absolutely do. He’d be comforting the weak and weary that beg on the streets. The talented drummers playing the sky walks would earn his genuine praise of their God-given talents. He’d congratulate the woman who prayed and prayed and prayed before being led to this machine to win the money she needed to feed her kids. There’d be help for the addicts, playfulness for the sightseers and wisdom for anyone who asked.
And love. There would be love for all. Perfect, unconditional, won’t sugar coat or bullshit you about anything but will stick with you through absolutely everything kind of love.
That is the thought I carry with me as I make my way through Sin City as a first time participant. It is an encouraging one. 🙂
Until our next adventure…