Dirt

Alex Enabnit – Research Editor

This weekend we started a brand new series called “Grounded” and it’s all about finding God in our everyday experiences.

Every week, we’ll center on the verse Colossians 1:23 (CEB) which says,

“But you need to remain well established and rooted in faith and not shift away from the hope given in the good news that you heard. This message has been preached throughout all creation under heaven.”

To start out the series, this week we looked at dirt! Yup. Plain old dirt. What’s so special about that?

For starters, like it or not, we are all very connected to dirt! It all started in the Garden of Eden, where God breathed life into dirt and made man. And God gives this man, Adam, a job which includes cultivating the Garden of Eden and working the soil. The first man and first job all revolved around dirt, and specifically the life that God breathed into it!

Second, Jeremy walked us through a famous passage in John 8, the woman caught in adultery. While Jesus is teaching in the temple courts, the Pharisees bring a woman caught in the act of adultery. They are both trying to humiliate this woman and put Jesus in a trap at the same time! But Jesus, rather than responding to their questioning, bends down and starts writing in the dirt with his finger. He draws the attention away from the woman’s shame and toward what he is writing. After this he makes the incredible statement, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Mic drop! All the accusers leave and the woman is absolved of her guilt. In this story, again, we see God breathing life into dirt – while he used dirt in the Garden to make life, he used dirt in the temple courts to bring life to this woman.

What does this have to do with us? Simply, life happens in the dirt. This may be true literally – especially if you have kids! But it’s also true metaphorically, through the dirt of our failures, disappointments, regret, loss, or pain. Sometimes we try to pretend this dirt doesn’t exist in our lives; that we don’t have dirt. But the power of God is found in the midst of the dirt of life. He doesn’t promise that this dirt will disappear, but he does promise that he will always be with us in the midst of it. So when we begin to see God in the dirt…

  1. We begin to see Jesus everywhere
  2. We can meet others in their dirt

To close, Jeremy asked a pointed question that is worth considering: what if Christians were known for meeting people in their dirt instead of pointing it out?

Verses and quotes from the sermon:

Colossians 1:23; Genesis 2:7; 15; 4:8-10; John 8:2-11; Jeremiah 17:3

“For God’s sake, where is God?” Elie Wiesel

“When it comes to Christian theology, distance has been God’s default location.” Diana Butler Bass, author

“nothing grows from diamonds, flowers grow from the muck.” (“Via del campo” di Fabrizio De Andrè)

“God fashions the first human begin by taking the dust of the ground into his hands, holding it so close that it can share in the divine breath, and inspiring it with the freshness of life. It is only as the ground is suffused with God’s intimate, breathing presence that human life—along with the life of trees and animals and birds—is possible at all. God draws near to the earth and then animates it from within.” Norman Wirzba

Dirty Face
By Shel Silverstein

Where did you get such a dirty face,
My darling dirty-faced child?

I got it from crawling along in the dirt
And biting two buttons off Jeremy’s shirt.
I got it from chewing the roots of a rose
And digging for clams in the yard with my nose.
I got it from peeking into a dark cave
And painting myself like a Navajo brave.
I got it from playing with coal in the bin
And signing my name in cement with my chin.
I got it from rolling around on the rug
And giving the horrible dog a big hug.
I got it from finding a lost silver mine
And eating sweet blackberries right off the vine.
I got it from ice cream and wrestling and tears
And from having more fun than you’ve had in years.

Big Idea

Set List

This is Living – Hillsong Music
Let There Be Light – Hillsong Music
Lord I Need You – Matt Maher
Psalm 23 – Central Music

About The Author
- I am the programming coordinator at Central Christian Church AZ. I also moderate the Central Teaching Blog. If you have any questions, feel free to ask!