Pastor’s Corner: “Layers”

Ephesians 2:10 (AMP) – 10 For we are His workmanship [His own master work, a work of art], created in Christ Jesus [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, ready to be used] for good works, which God prepared [for us] beforehand [taking paths which He set], so that we would walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us]. 

When I think of all think of all the memories of the baptisms we have had the joy to witness and participate in over the years, my heart starts to overflow with so much joy and love that I start to weep. It is such an intense feeling of pure rejoicing; I don’t know fully how to put it into words.  I believe this is the Holy Spirit showing me how much God is pleased when a person chooses to follow Christ and is baptized as an expression of that new life. It makes me reflect on the day when I was baptized. What a glorious day it was. I did it out of obedience, but never realized the blessing I would receive in return. As I came up out of the water, I felt as though I would never be the same. My old life had been washed away and the new life had begun. Literally! 

But then my mind turned to food (I cannot get rid of the chef in me).  Specifically I started thinking about an onion and all its layers and how it relates to those who were baptized. The process of working out their salvation in their new lives in Christ will be similar to that of the peeling layers of an onion. They have been in bondage and now in their new lives they will begin to pull away the layers of the old life so that can finally see the true being God created them to be. Some areas of their lives will be more easily unpeeled than others. There will be those things in their past that will want to hang on as they are being pulled away making it more difficult to be freed from them. Just like an onion as we shed away more layers and the deeper we go, more tears are released.  

I came across this poem this morning that I think describes the process well:  The Onion:  I was an onion before Christ set me free. Layers upon layers of iniquity. An ugly old onion whose fragrance was strong; That my Jesus bought and loved all along. Unknown to me what He was going to do. Of what He was planning, I had not a clue. Pulling each layer off one by one. In order to make me more like Jesus the Son. The first layer wasn’t so bad. I saw all the sins that I knew I had. They were easy to fix, just change the way I talk. And learn more of how He wanted me to walk. Reading His Word, and learning again; How to put aside my life of sin. But the next layer was pulled which hurt more. He was getting closer to the core. Unknown what He would find there. I simply gave it to Him in prayer. As another layer was removed, He started to cry; Pulling this layer brought pain to my Father on High. And I was crying over the sadness I felt; The brokenness and all of the guilt. Past memories that I thought were gone; They were buried under layers disguised in a fragrance so strong. As onions peel more and more; And they put tears in our eyes as we get close to the core; So my Father wept over my pain; Giving me a balm of comfort and strength to sustain. “No More Layers.” I would scream. As He continued to peel them off of me. “I’ll have nothing left my Lord, what will I do? I’ll be nothing but a worthless core to you. ” But He just said “Trust me,” and continued to peel I was sure He was blinded to my pain that was so real. Year after year I shrunk more and more;  Until all that was left of this onion was a core. It was then that I began to understand; As the Lord embraced me in His loving hand. He said, now and only now can you be; The creation that will minister before me. Clothed with the righteousness only from above; Gone are your layers of self so you can be filled with my love. He took my layers of sin, hurt and pain; And clothed me with love, truth and mercy in His name. Yes, we are all onions, learning with each day; How to overcome as each layer is taken away. Some layers tear and pull at our heart; While others grieve us to our innermost part. But we are nothing but an ugly onion without Christ. Layers upon layers of pride, sin and strife. Only God can take those layers away. And clothe us with His righteousness in that final day. 

— Author Unknown 

Surrender to His love and work in your life. You are His Masterpiece! 

In His Grace, 

Pastor Hamilton