Thought for the week

‘Cre­ate in me a clean heart, oh God, and put a new and right spirit within me’ Psalm 51 v10

The Oban Times - - Births, Marriages & Deaths - Rev Carol Leech

THE sea­son of Lent is here. Lent is a time of prepa­ra­tion, of spir­i­tual spring- clean­ing and re­con­di­tion­ing which can chal­lenge us to re­flect on our re­la­tion­ship with God and each other. Lent pro­vides op­por­tu­ni­ties to as­sess rough and hard ex­pe­ri­ences of life, the in­ner wounds we carry, along with the things that are worth­while and health pro­mot­ing, and, most im­por­tantly, the place we give to God in our liv­ing.

The psalmist recog­nised that what was cru­cial and cen­tral to daily life was a will­ing­ness to have God re­make his heart, to have his whole mo­ti­va­tion tuned into God’s way of be­ing. He cried out to God, ask­ing for the gift of spir­i­tual re­con­di­tion­ing, for ‘a clean heart and right spirit’, which is God’s hea rt - t rans form­ing work, of­fered to all who turn to Him. The psalmist knew that this was the only way to live close to God and so find in­ner peace and well­be­ing.

Je­sus ex­plained to his fol­low­ers and the reli­gious of­fi­cials that those things which de­file some­one, and show up peo­ple for what they re­ally are, come from the heart – the lies, the evil ideas, the hate, the mean­ness.

Th­ese ac­tions come, not from out­ward be­hav­iours, but from the heart, and can­not be washed away by wa­ter or re­moved by some le­gal for­mula.

The only rem­edy is re­pen­tance and God’s for­give­ness. Only then can God’s heart-re­make es­tab­lish a right re­la­tion­ship with Him and oth­ers. This ‘new and right spirit’ en­gen­ders a grate­ful heart that recog­nises God’s grace and mercy to­wards us, bring­ing a new way of liv­ing.

Make this Lent sea­son a time of be­ing re­con­di­tioned and re­freshed by God.

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