Tag Archives: cleansing

A Faithful God iii

16 Wash yourselves clean!
I am disgusted
    with your filthy deeds.
Stop doing wrong
17     and learn to live right.
See that justice is done.
Defend widows and orphans
    and help those in need.”

An Invitation from the Lord

18 I, the Lord, invite you
    to come and talk it over.
Your sins are scarlet red,
but they will be whiter
    than snow or wool.
19 If you willingly obey me,
the best crops in the land
    will be yours.
20 But if you turn against me,
your enemies will kill you.
    I, the Lord, have spoken.

An invitation?
For me?
You want me to come
and be with you?
To be in your presence?

But I’m still learning,
still washing,
well
scrubbing actually.
Some of the stains are deep,
ingrained,
well rubbed in.

But I long to come,
to answer your call,
to talk things over with you;
because you
and you alone understand.
You
and you alone
can help,
to remove these stains.

The strongest soap,
the toughest bleach
cannot reach the parts of me
that need to be cleansed;
yet you are the one
who can restore
the very fabric
of my heart
and soul
to what it should be,
what you created it
to be.

And so I respond
to your invitation.
Here I am.
show me
where the stains are,
what they are from
and remove them.
Strengthen me
to not
immediately replace them,
for I long
to live your ways.

Thank you
for being faithful to me,
may I be faithful to you.

Faithful One

Laying down the Law

We are all taught as children that fire is dangerous.  It can cause much damage, destroy property, put lives at risk.  Anyone who has ever suffered even a small burn knows how painful it is, never mind the sights when bush fires ravish land so quickly.

Yet fire also has more positive uses:

Fire gets rid of rubbish

Fire sterilizes

It gives heat

It provides light

Fire changes things.  It causes a chemical reaction.

God invites Moses to come and meet with him, and to the Israelites the glory of God on the mountain looks like an all-consuming fire.  Moses goes into the presence of God, and he will be changed.

Of course this is not Moses first encounter with God and fire.  God had met him before in The Burning Bush.  God is running on a theme.

This time, Moses goes up to meet God to be given the tablets of stone that will have the law and commandments God has given for the people’s’ instruction.  These are not God’s whims, but the understanding of the one who made the world, of how it would best function.

They are there to change the nation:

  • To get rid of rubbish, if followed, only good will be left.  There is nothing like a bonfire to get rid of garden waste; setting fire is one secure way to get rid of any confidential papers, there is nothing left but ash.
  • To sterilise.  I remember needles being passed through flames to make them sterile for poking out splinters or the like (never to be advised!)  The heat removed the germs that couldn’t even be seen.
  • To give heat – who can resist a roaring fire?  And with the right chimney it warms the whole building.
  • To give light.  A fire will give light in a dark space, and as beacons have been used over the centuries to communicate.

God’s laws will do all of these in the world.  If followed there need be nothing that is wrong left, and strength will be renewed, and the whole world will have what it needs to get on.

Going into the fire to meet with God – it’s dangerous and life-enhancing.  Will we take the risk?  Will we let him get rid of the things that need to go, clean our lives from the bad things we may not even be able to see, warm us and give us light?

God invites us to come, to hear his words, to be changed.

Lord

as we gaze on the fire

and think of the flame,

we remember your calling

to us to come

to hear

and to receive.

May we let you change us

and transform us

as fire transforms.

May we know purification

and warmth

from you.