Speaking to the soul

Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin.
Psalm 51:1-2 NLT

Who doesn’t love a hot bath? After a day working in the Oratory garden, I look forward to the prospect of sinking into a hot bubble bath.

Most people carry secrets, often guilty ones, from their past. These can be the cause of shame combined with a fear of exposure and discovery. Yet, God’s promise is that we can be cleansed and refreshed in ways even my hottest and sweetest smelling bath cannot match. This is the reality of mercy. God invites us to become fully relaxed before him, but also to live in complete peace with ourselves and those around us.

The consequence of working in the garden is that I arrive at my bath with the marks left from my endeavours. Muddy knees, elbows and hands, scrapes, cuts and bruises. These are eased as I lower myself into the welcome waters, yet unless I apply some soap and elbow grease, I will emerge with faint muddy marks. God intends that we are washed entirely clean from sin, and the shame it generates within. Some of this is washed away immediately. Scrapes, cuts and bruises may take longer to heal. Yet, by God’s mercy, I am completely forgiven. God forgets, and only I remember, a memory that the accuser, my enemy, will constantly want to reinstate.

We cannot deal with our sin problem. This is why we need a rescuer, who is Jesus. The great news is that we can live life guilt-free. In accepting God’s mercy and forgiveness, we begin a life of learning to live guilt-free and in humble appreciation of God’s grace. Every time I trip up over sin or guilt, I return to God’s bath of cleansing forgiveness and start over again.


Do you need to be washed clean again from the stain of sin?


I battle between my entertainment of sin and my desire to love and serve you, God, entirely. Help me today to make good choices for my life. Thank you for your shed blood which cleanses me from every stain of sin.