September 7

Psalm 51:1-10

“Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.” vss. 9-10

Even though most people are acutely aware of their shortcomings they have different ways of referring to them. Some are comfortable with calling them sins, while others might call them personality defects, addictions, or mistakes. They are those words or actions that haunt us from the past and that continue to pop up in the present. Often the memories are accompanied by feelings of guilt. The psalmist was certainly aware of those sins and asked God to blot them out. His words resonate with our experience–it’s why we readily participate in confession rituals when they’re offered. But the psalmist was looking for more than forgiveness and so do we. It’s tiring and discouraging to just keep on dealing with that same old garbage year after year. What he really wanted was a new heart and a new spirit–and so do we, regularly echoing his words in our liturgies, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.” Oh how we crave to be new creations! The good news is that God does exactly that through the Holy Spirit. As we live in Christ, in community with other sinners, renovation is taking place. Sins are forgiven, and our true image is restored. We are changed, and it’s the greatest gift any of us could ever receive!

Thought for the Day: How have I changed over the years?

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