November 09, 2006

A Pure Heart

Psalm 51:1-12

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God." Matthew 5:8


Recently the Supreme Court of Canada gave its approval to "private swingers clubs" in which groups of dancers, as long as they have curtains drawn around their group, may engage in whatever sexual activities they wish. The rationale: "It does not harm anybody."

There's a story in Greek mythology about a king named Augeas, who owned a stable with 3,000 cattle in it. The stable had not been cleaned for decades. Mighty Hercules accepted the challenge to clean the stables. But he did not use a shovel. Instead, he changed the course of two rivers and made them flow through the stables to wash all the filth away.

The Greek word for "pure" in Matthew 5:8 is the same word from which we get the word "catharsis." When you go through a catharsis, you go through a cleansing that flushes out impurities. Jesus says that if you want to see God, you must have a pure heart, a heart that has been purified, washed clean by the blood of Jesus. "Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow," prays the psalmist.

When there is impurity in our hearts, our view of God is blocked. For many people today, however, one of the deepest longings and most intense searches is that they might see God. Is that your longing too? Then you need a pure heart.

"Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion ... Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin." In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Jerry Hoytema

Pastor Jerry Hoytema is a retired minister living in Ontario. In his retirement he has served several churches as an interim pastor. He and his wife, Winnie, have four children and 13 grandchildren.

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