Ash Wednesday

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”  (Psalm 51:10, NIV)

We frequently refer to David, who wrote Psalm 51, as “a man after God’s own heart”; but David was a world-class sinner: Lying, adultery, and murder were a few of his notorious misdeeds.

Yes, David was focused like a laser beam on pleasing God — when he wasn’t distracted.  But when David found himself in the wrong, he always repented of his sin and ran the path of righteousness as one runs to make up for lost time.

By way of illustration (not by imitation), it is said that we can sin like David — if we are willing to repent like David.  David’s prayer of repentance was a plea for a clean heart; a pure heart; a heart that is unalloyed in its devotion to God.

David also prayed for a steadfast spirit.  Proverbs tells us: “Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.”  (Proverbs 16:32)  A steadfast spirit will keep us free of many of the heartaches of life.

Today, as we remember the fact that from dust we came and to dust we shall return; redeem every day for good — and give God the glory!  – Luther

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