Today's Lectionary Text
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
Then I will teach transgressors thy ways,
O Lord, open thou my lips,
As I was putting our Christmas decorations away recently, I was thinking that it would be a good feeling to get our house reorganized, to have everything put away and clean once again. Then the verse, “Create a clean heart in me, O God” (RVS) popped into my head. I not only needed a clean house, I realized that I also needed a clean heart. When David wrote this Psalm, he was thinking of something much more serious than putting away Christmas decorations. The prophet Nathan confronted David after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba, and these verses are part of David’s humble prayer for forgiveness and cleansing after he recognized and admitted that he had sinned. Sometimes our lives become cluttered, and we don’t always take the time to recognize and admit that we need to sort out the good from the bad, the important from the unimportant, the serving from the self-serving. We need to clean up some areas of our lives and get reorganized.
We recently celebrated the birth of Jesus, who was a gift from God and who sacrificed His life for us. Because of Jesus’ love for us, our sins are forgiven if we ask, and we can start over with a clean slate. When we are forgiven, we can experience joy in our lives once again. I am always happier when our house is clean and organized, and so is my husband! With a clean heart, we will have joy in our lives and will want to live in God’s presence. We are promised the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives, and we can call on that Spirit to help us develop and keep a deep faith. With deep faith, we develop a spirit willing to serve God and others. We will want to share this Good News with others.
Only God can create a clean heart in us. Only He can equip us for the tasks we need to complete as we minister to others. What a gift we have been given! We can have a clean heart and a new spirit which we can use to live in His will and serve others.
-Linda Rector, lay speaker
Wichita University UMC
Prayer for Reflection
We praise you, O God, for these gifts you have given us. May we be willing to share these gifts with others in this New Year.
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