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.
As we move from Ash Wednesday to the glorious celebration of Easter, the opening words of this Psalm take on a powerful meaning. We can join with the Psalmist and invoke these words as our own personal prayer.
We are moving closer and closer to spring time. The daylight hours are growing longer and we are grateful for the moments when we can begin to enjoy more of the outdoors. I believe that spring cleaning fits with the season of Lent more than we may realize. Actually, the words of the Psalm above become a part of our soul spring cleaning when we proclaim “blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.”
After all, consider what spring cleaning is all about. We may notice dust that has not been removed. We may become aware of unneeded papers that can be disposed of or recycled. Surely, we will take note of things in the yard that need attention, whether it be adding mulch to our flower beds, pruning some bushes to prepare them for new growth, cleaning up the garage or whatever else may grab our attention.
Let’s come back to the words of that Psalm and our own personal lives. What are the cobwebs of bad habits that can be changed? Where is the dirt of forgiveness or of anger or of disrespect that keeps us from fully being what and who God intends us to be? When have we withheld love or failed to offer kindness, mercy, and compassion to another when it is so much needed? Where do we find the clutter hidden in the deep recesses of our hearts and spirits, the clutter embodied in doubt and uncertainty, the clutter of the tasks we know we should have done but left undone, or the clutter of those actions that we regret.
This is the time to look inward, recognize our sinful ways, turn them over to God and then beyond to see the great gift that God has given us through His Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ. I invite you to read the words of the Psalm again and encourage you to make it your personal prayer and conviction.
Regional Elder, District 12
The full Lenten Devotional Booklet can be downloaded by clicking HERE.