O Jerusalem, wash your heart clean of wickedness so that you may be saved. How long shall your evil schemes lodge within you? - Jeremiah 4:14 (NRSV)
Anyone who has ever done a little spring cleaning or moved before knows what it is like to marvel at all of the things you accumulate over the years. In fact, there is a point in every major clean out or move, where you just look around and think to yourself: Gosh, what a MESS! Who needs this much stuff? And when did it get here?!
Just this week, as I have been packing up my own house, I was astounded to learn that I had over a van FULL of things to donate or get rid of. And I’ve moved four times in my adult life!
Much of it was stuff I had accumulated over the years.
Some of it I’d actually used at one point, and others I’ve dragged around,
insistent that I would use it sooner or later… and then didn’t.
Some of it had sentimental value at one point, but no longer holds the same meaning.
Some of it was just plain old junk.
The point is – every once in a while – clean-outs are necessary.
The prophet Jeremiah believed that the same is true for our hearts.
Just like in our homes, sometimes junk clutters up in the quiet corners of our hearts without us even really noticing until all of a sudden we run into it… because it’s causing a problem where there wasn’t one before.
Like when we snap on someone else and wonder why we were so quick to react.
Or our schedules become so busy that we can’t attend to that really important conversation.
Or our lives are riddled with shame and we cannot look ourselves (or anyone else) square in the eye anymore.
In this season of Easter, where we proclaim that Christ is risen and is seeking to make all things new – that also means us. God wants to come into our hearts and lives and help us clear a few things out of the way so that we can be more effective at loving ourselves and others the way we were created to.
What do I need to clean out of my heart to make more room for God?
Dear God, thank you for loving us enough to enter our messy hearts and clear space for eternal life. Amen.