Regardless of the day, or the work being done…
There is nothing like getting to the ending of your schedule and needing to “clean up.” Sometimes it is simply preparing the hands and face to greet others, or to sit at a meal. Then there are the times when nothing but a good shower will do!
It’s not only your self, but generally your clothing also. Whatever you have been doing, skin and clothes often reflect the environment – whether smells, dirt or clinging debris.
I remember my dad coming home from work at Champion Paper Company. It produced nice clean paper for all kinds of purposes from the raw timber delivered by the truck loads. Yet, the manufacturing process required great labor and many chemicals. That rotten smell permeated dad – clothes, skin and truck!
We used to hose the truck out with a water hose before using it for a date!
I also remember those fun times of camping and playing in the woods. At the end of the day, with a bar of soap, you immersed yourself into the river, the lake, or even that artesian well at the bottom of the hill there in Ace, Texas. You soaped up, and dunked yourself in that water that washes away all the stains of that day.
I do not know why I thought of this early this morning. But we are approaching church time, and though I think of it as a time and place of celebration, it is still the place we go to when life has left us dirty!
It’s a time and place of cleansing.
It used to be that Sunday church was an overly full day with Sunday School, Morning and Evening Service, and all the fellowship that goes on in between. Most churches today are satisfied with a single service on Sunday, and maybe some activity during the week for fellowship or teaching.
Maybe this is one reason why we struggle with our cleaning time before God? One simple service time that is generally geared around celebration often leaves those that feel the need of cleansing without the time and space to accomplish it.
David teaches us that cleansing time does not replace worship time. Consider his Psalms 51, written as a result of his sin that we find documented in 2 Samuel 11, and the proclamation of acceptance of guilt in 2 Samuel 12.
Spend a few minutes reading and thinking about this psalms. He did not not wait until service time to make things right, he immediately took it before God as soon as he realized his sin.
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba. Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment. Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice. Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness. O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. Do good to Zion in your good pleasure; build up the walls of Jerusalem; then will you delight in right sacrifices, in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings; then bulls will be offered on your altar. ~(Psalms 51:1-19 ESV)
Do you need a cleansing yourself? Do not wait until church as a time and place to cleanse yourself. Do it now. There is no better time.