Just "Fess up"
The Upward Look, by Jon Forrest
Just “Fess Up.”
It was time for the annual cake sale at a church not much different from our own. Ms. Billings always made the most beautiful cakes...she was expected to make another one this year. However, Ms. Billings was a very busy woman with the time she spent with her family and the time she gave to her community. She put off making the cake this year thinking she could put it all together at the last minute.
When the cake came out of the oven, Ms. Billings was horrified to see that the cake had fallen. She didn’t have the time or the ingredients to make another one...she panicked. Frantically, she devised an ingenious plan. She would find a way to "fix" the cake...then she would be the first one to the sale and buy her own cake back.
She looked around the room, trying to find something that she could use to "prop" the cake back up, and then she found it. A roll of toilet paper was the perfect size. So, she put it under the center of the cake and the cake looked perfect. She decorated it bright yellow and took it to the bake sale. Then she stuck around until the bake sale started.
She was the first in line when the doors opened; she smiled to herself about how clever she was. But then there was a terrifying horror crawling up from within her. She looked at every single table; no yellow cake! Someone had snuck in before the sale and purchased it. The helpers couldn’t remember who had purchased it either; there was so much going on.
She went home and felt absolutely horrible. That was it: they would find the toilet paper in the cake, trace it back to her, and ban her from ever cooking ever again, except for potlucks.
Well, she didn’t have a whole lot of time to dwell on it, like I said she was a very busy woman. She was going to a reception that the Mayor’s wife was holding, and she was already a little late.
When she got there, she almost died right where she stood… because there, at the center of a brilliantly decorated table, was a bright yellow cake. She debated all of her options: grab the cake and run, changing her name and moving to Tahiti, calling in a bomb threat, or telling the hostess. It was a dead tie between calling in a bomb threat and telling the hostess, when she decided to muster up the courage to tell the Mayor’s wife of the horrors that awaited inside the yellow cake.
But as she got up to tell the hostess about the cake, she overheard someone complementing her. "That is simply the most beautiful cake I have ever seen!" To which the Mayor’s wife replied, "Thank you, I made it myself." Ms. Billings then sat down and enjoyed her fruit salad.
So often people get into trouble, not for the wrong they did, but the attempt they made to cover it up. If you recall, the controversy over Watergate was not so much over the third rate, failed burglary of some offices in the Watergate Hotel as it was over the massive cover-up that President Nixon and his staff attempted to keep it a and their involvement a secret. Probably, had there been admission of guilt, he would have finished his second term in the Whitehouse.
The same was true of King David when he had an illicit affair with another man’s wife. It was bad enough that the affair had led to a hidden pregnancy, but the cover-up resulted in lies and murder. Ultimately it led to the punishment of God and the death of the child carried by Bathsheba.
Deception only builds upon the sin being covered. God’s grace stepped in to rescue the adulterous couple, but not without devastating consequences. That is why John wrote, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9 NIV). It is always right to simply “fess up.”
Sunday we will look at part three of our series “Passion and Promises” with a message we have titled, LSD DAVID & BATHSHEBA, based on James 1:13-15; 2 Samuel 11&12; and Psalm 51. I promise we won’t read it all. But come and see how passionate sins were redeemed through a faithful promise.
Staying “fessed up.”