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How will I be cleansed?

(Psalm 51,1-5)

Today is a toilet evening and this is why I have thought about the many possible ways to deal with our business: WC, porta-loo, thunder box, a closet with a heart cut in the door, a hole in the ground, behind the next bush... The whole thing is a bit different from country to country: In Africa there is often a simple hole which you crouch over. I was in Romania last year for a hiking tour and we simply went behind the next tree or boulder and every now and again there was a wobbly toilet which fell apart.

All toilets have one thing in common: It is crunch time! Or better said: It’s all about the crap...! And crap stinks terribly. Every one of you knows that.

There is a well-known saying: I have made a mess of it. Do you know that? Have you made a dog’s dinner of it?

Well, yes, quite often really. There were a few larger things where I thought afterwards: „That really was crap. How can I get out of this one?“ However there are also lots of little things: A quick little lie for example or if we are not quite truthful with one thing or another – it isn’t so bad (but then it turned out to be bad). Conning people – they’ll get over it. Then we think about it afterwards and think: „That really was a bit crap!“

The bible calls these crappy things sins. The problem is that the link between us and God suffers a break. Then we can feel the effects in other areas. Every one of us has sinned before. Every one of us has done something sh....y. In the bible there is no difference between little and big sins. That is also the case in everyday life: A little pile of dog poo stinks just as bad as a big pile. There is no difference. „Sin stinks to the heavens.“ Of course we can say: Hey, that does not interest me at all. It is not so important. Well, is that really clever?

If we really take a good look we see that there is a big pile of things in our lives which stinks terribly. The worst thing is when we notice: I won’t manage to clear it up. I can’t simply take a piece of loo roll and wipe it away. If I have hurt someone I cannot undo it and this is relevant of many things. In the bible there are many people who have done something sh...y. That makes the bible so exciting because they are normal people like you or I. One of these people is King David.

A short introduction to David: David and Bathsheba“ (2. Sam 11) short version:

  • Roof terrace,
  • Fancy palace,
  • A beautiful woman (next top model?),
  • Adultery (married),
  • Sex,
  • Pregnancy,
  • Cover up,
  • Husband murdered

The whole thing was OK for David at first. She was a beautiful woman after all. He didn’t care if she was married or not etc...

God did not think that it was OK. It stank to heaven. This is why God sent a prophet to him – a man who would open his eyes. And David really did wake up. He realised that he really had done something sh...y. He recognised his sin. He realised that the whole thing really stank: The adultery, the murder – simply everything.

What does David do? He knows that he cannot reverse things. The woman is pregnant. The husband is dead. He cannot turn back time. What does David do? He prays to God (from Psalm 51):

„ Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin!“

David prays to God because he knows that only God can clean him up. He knows that only God can wash all of this dirt from his life and forgive him.

The question is just as valid for us: What do we do? Do we say: „That does not matter to us!“ and carry on stinking happily or do we use the opportunity? We use the opportunity to let God wash us clean.

Author: This entry came from Christopher M. who has also provided many thoughts and ideas for group sessions. Many thanks for this material and other entries.

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