The Oasis - March 2, 2022

Author: Rev. Eric Dupee
March 02, 2022

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.” 
Psalm 51:10

            At every church I’ve served, I’ve had a home office. It’s the one room in the house I allow to be absolutely messy. I pile up papers rather than file them. There are always books laying around everywhere. Sometimes, I have to push things aside in order to make space on the table to work.
            I don’t keep the rest of my house immaculate, by any means, but I make an effort to keep it picked up and presentable. I don’t worry about the state of my home office so much, because hardly anyone ever sees it. It’s those parts of the house that a visitor might see that need to be well-maintained. It’s about appearances.
            Psalm 51 is the psalm designated for Ash Wednesday. The verse above always catches my attention. The psalmist does not pray for the appearance of goodness. The psalmist does not pray to look good to other people or to appear as though he or she has it all together. The psalmist prays for cleanliness and having a “right spirit” on the inside. 
            For the psalmist, it’s important to have a clean heart and a right spirit on the inside, where only God can see. My prayer for this Lenten season is to go beyond appearing faithful, well-intentioned, and loving. I want to go beyond appearances and to be made new inside and out. I want a clean office as well as a clean living room.
            Creator God, help us to deepen our spirituality this Lent. Cleanse us inside and out. Help us to go beyond appearances and to be faithful in our thoughts, our intentions, and in our desires. Amen.

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