Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of the season of Lent. Lent is a season of preparation, the Spring Cleaning of the soul in a way. We intentionally set aside things, habits, and desires not because they are inherently wrong but because we want to make space for something else, namely wiggle roomfor the Spirit. We make space in order that the Spirit might move within us, cleanse us from sin, purify our hearts, and re-orient us toward the cross and our Crucified and Risen Lord.
Psalm 51 is perhaps the most well-known passage of repentance in the Bible and is a very helpful guide in leading us into this season. It is a psalm of David, written after he is found out for his sin of adultery and murder. David has been exposed. His justifications have fallen short. There is no excuse. David steps into the light of the truth and is confronted by the harsh reality of his sin.
Instead of making excuses or giving himself over to despair, David throws himself on the mercy of God. He humbles himself before the Lord, confesses his sin, and asks God to transform and heal him from the inside out.
What is the result? Only David’s personal growth and forgiveness? No! Through David’s repentance and God’s merciful restoration, “sinners will return to [God].” (vs. 13) David will testify to the world of God’s saving and restorative action in his life.
What is our posture before God? Arms crossed, mind closed, heart defensive? Or are we open, willing to let the light of God’s revelation illuminate even the dustiest corners of our hearts?
We often understand salvation to be an private endeavor with individual results. With holy imagination, consider how God’s transformative work in you might bear witness to God’s saving action to those around you.
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Grace and Peace to you