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Something to read

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.

- Psalm 51:10, from full reading Psalm 51: 1-12.

Something to think about

Even the holiest among us can fall; and indeed some say that those who are closest to God are subjected to the greatest temptations.

This psalm is attributed to King David, after he was confronted by the prophet Nathan regarding his adultery with Bathsheba and sending her husband to his death in battle. His sentiments, and his heartfelt prayer for cleansing and forgiveness, are widely shared by all who become suddenly aware of serious sin in their lives.

Complacency can be as serious a sin as adultery and we all need to examine ourselves regularly let we fall into habitual and unnoticed sin which will blight our spiritual lives and our witness to Christ.

Are we greedy? Reluctant to share what we have? Are we stuck in our way of thinking and afraid to explore the full challenge of the gospel? Are we still really committed disciples of Jesus or have we grown lazy and self-serving? Do we tend to judge others rather than accept them?

All such faults will mar our witness and stand in the way of God’s kingdom.

Something to do

Every now and then, we'd do well to take a hint from the handbook of Alcoholics Anonymous. 

Succeeding steps of their Twelve Step recovery programme are as follows: "Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.    Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings."

Activism in the cause of the Gospel, as exemplified by Christian Aid, is good; sometimes self-examination, repentance and renewal are necessary too.

It was for King David; it is for us. It can only bring joy into our lives and make our witness more effective. That's something to start on today and complete over the coming week.


Something to pray

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.

Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your holy spirit from me.

Today’s contributor is Canon Ginnie Kennerley, editor of SEARCH – A Church of Ireland Journal, and former rector of Narraghmore and Castledermot in Glendalough diocese.