Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Water, Bleach, Prayer, Clean Hearts

   I have to admit, I am enamored with the transformation of the exterior of our historic 1891 Chapel building. I have literally stopped my car in the street twice now to admire it and snap photos while driving past the church for some other reason. The Trustees, thanks to a reference from Larry Collier, turned to Tony Hinnant, former WRHS principal and now contractor, to perform the work of resurfacing the siding, making improvements to some electrical connections, and repairing structures frames around doorways. The work is almost completed and I could not be more impressed. From the outside it looks new, while the inside keeps the charm and history that we all love.
   It is the work that the crew has done on all three of our steeples that probably gets my attention most, though. To be honest, our steeples had starting look somewhat shabby. It was not a matter of structural concern; they were covered in mildew and grime. However, that is now a thing of the past. It is amazing what a blend of tap-water and bleach can do for an exterior, isn't it?
   How does grime get onto a steeple? It happens naturally and over time, of course. Once it starts, you have to be intentional about removing it.
   Isn't this true for us? Sin clings naturally and over time. Psalm 51 says,

Purify me with hyssop and I will be clean; wash me and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and celebration again; let the bones you crushed rejoice once more. Hide your face from my sins; wipe away all my guilty deeds! Create a clean heart for me, God; put a new, faithful spirit deep inside me! 

Although we receive a cleansed and changed heart when we accept Christ, in a sense we need a heart change every morning. Each morning we should get down on our knees and say, “Lord, help me to be the person you want me to be today. Wash away the grime and take away the desires that shouldn’t be there, and help me be single-minded in my focus and my pursuit of you.” As we do this, God comes and cleanses us from the inside out, purifying our hearts.
   What does it matter? Who does it affect? Sin and the weight that clings to us not only pulls us down, it also affects our witness. We are called to be salt and light - not sin and grime! 
   Grace and peace, Scott

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