S (Scripture): Psalm 51
1 Have mercy on me, O God, because of your loyal love!
Because of your great compassion, wipe away my rebellious acts!
2 Wash away my wrongdoing!
Cleanse me of my sin!
3 For I am aware of my rebellious acts;
I am forever conscious of my sin.
10 Create for me a pure heart, O God!
Renew a resolute spirit within me!
11 Do not reject me!
Do not take your Holy Spirit away from me.
O (Observation): The heart is seen as the seat of the psalmist’s motives and moral character. The author (presumably King David, guilty of taking Bathsheba for himself) is admitting guilt and desires a change of heart. He wishes that God will make him right again, imploring God to wash away his sins and not to remove God’s Holy Spirit from his presence.
After Jesus, no such separation of the Spirit is expected, but in David’s day, the Spirit would move away from someone should they neglect God’s sovereignty and will. (An example was King Saul, from whom the Spirit moved away, even after he was originally anointed.)
In the New Testament and beyond, all baptized believers always have the Spirit, even though we do not deserve it. This everlasting connection comes about as Jesus overcomes sin and death.
A (Application): Our Ash Wednesday recognition comes about because we realise how we fall short of God’s expectations for our lives, and at the same time, remember God’s promises to never let us go. We are simply dust-creatures and are of no significance. Yet God regards us. And not only this, but God also redeems us, through our baptism into Christ’s death and resurrection.
We are in. We are always in, in baptism. Some don’t think so. I’m pretty sure. But then, it’s no all about me : )
Come and worship with us at Advent Lutheran Church, 1700 Irby Lane, Murfreesboro, TN 37130, at Noon or 7pm.
P (Prayer): Lord, cleanse my heart and make me new. Amen.