The first casualties of upheaval can be love, kindness, and patience. But crisis is also a moment when love for God & one another can spring up. For 150 days, starting on 17th March 2020, I will write 300 words based on one of the 150 psalms in the bible. How can I find and give love in the midst of coronavirus?
When the coronavirus began to spread and handwashing became much more important, Steven the facilities manager at CBC’s building, searched the bible for verses about hand washing. He found one at the beginning of Isaiah and put it up around the building. However, one of the other possible verses he considered was from Psalm 24. It talks about having clean hands and a pure heart:
The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; 2 for he founded it on the seas and established it on the waters. 3 Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? 4 The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god.
It starts by declaring loud and clear – that the world and everything and everyone ultimately belongs to God. This is so important to hear – because in a time of chaos and suffering it feels like this cannot be true. The world is broken and is under the control of the evil one (the bible says this in 1John 5:19) – but, and it’s a big but – the devil is a squatter just waiting to be evicted. The world ultimately belongs to God – it’s all His.
So, if God is this big and powerful – who can come to Him. Who can “ascend His mountain”? Only someone with clean hands (not literally – it’s an image about not having done things that are ‘dirty’) and a pure heart. Well, that’s me out. I know so often that I don’t have either. Not that I don’t try – but I am so aware of the lack of purity in my heart. How can I come to God?
I am writing and recording this on Maundy Thursday. The day we remember when Jesus and His disples eat the last supper. During the meal as Jesus gave our bread & wine to His disciples – he told them that His body and His blood were being given “for the forgiveness of sins”. This is how we get clean hands and a pure heart – by coming to Jesus and asking Him to forgive, to clean and to purify.
I need to do this again today. Do you?
Much love, Matt