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Reading:                                           Psalm 51

(Verses 10-19)

Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
so that sinners will turn back to you.
Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,
you who are God my Savior,
and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.
Open my lips, Lord,
and my mouth will declare your praise.
You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.

May it please you to prosper Zion,
to build up the walls of Jerusalem.
Then you will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous,
in burnt offerings offered whole;
then bulls will be offered on your altar
(NIV).

Reflection

I just had my morning shower. Nothing special about that—daily showers are the social norm. But they haven’t always been the norm. Step back a century and the weekly bath was the norm. Step back a thousand years and a bath was an annual event. With this lack of personal hygiene is it any wonder that epidemics ran rampant through the medieval population, and diseases like smallpox and the bubonic plague killed millions in Europe?

Bamboo Fence, Aichi-ken, Japan -- David Kitz

Bamboo Fence, Aichi-ken, Japan — David Kitz

As a society we have embraced the concept and practice of personal hygiene. But what about spiritual hygiene? Have we embraced that as well? I fear the opposite is true. Are we plunging into the deep end of a cesspool of sin? Do we mistakenly believe there are no consequences? A filthy spirit can be as deadly as bubonic plague. A host of mental, emotional and social problems are a direct result of poor spiritual hygiene. Cleanse your heart and mind and you will walk in spiritual health.

From his own cesspool of sin David cried out: Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

I don’t know about you, but daily I need to bathe in Christ’s love and forgiveness. He cleans me up.

Response: LORD God, thank you for the forgiveness you purchased for me through Jesus your son. Amen.

Your Turn: How is your spiritual hygiene today? How do you keep your spirit clean?