Last Sunday we gathered as is our practice and sat around the table. After noticing the new fans, and opening in prayer we began checking in. The homework had asked us to both consider what committing our spirit into God’s hands means, feels & looks like, and to ask if we could do so at least once.
As usual, there were a variety of experiences. There was some confusion on how and if committing our spirit like how Christ did is possible — he was about to die (give up the ghost) — our goal isn’t that; and also thinking about how Christ (fully God — fully human, is able to commit his soul into God’s hands — fair enough of a question). However, a theme also emerged of submission to God, that the idea of committing our spirit into God’s hands means letting go, giving to God that which we have no control over. As people described this there was the experience of peace, breathing, pervasive joy, and clarity. What a beautiful testimony and encouragement to hear the gifts that came from submitting to God — with such lived experiences of peace, joy, and clarity — it’s a wonder we don’t attempt to submit ourselves to God more often….praise be to God for having patience with us all!
And we turned to scripture, an entire Psalm, Psalm 51. After listening to the whole Psalm, we briefly heard some comments on where the Holy Spirit was directing attention. One, in hearing verse 17, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” recalled the parable of two men praying to God and a sincere humility (even though coming from a sinner) was regarded and heard by God, and heard an invitation for us to present ourselves to God with such sincere humility. Another named how as a church we used to use this exact Psalm as an aid to confession.
There is this beauty of Psalm 51 of regarding God’s steadfast love and mercy, in naming our sinfulness and even (perhaps this is on our best days) our awareness of our own sin and then the request for God to create in us a clean (or pure) heart. It seems very appropriately God-centered and aware that it is God who can create a newness of heart within us (not our own work). And so we came to the homework invitation for the week:
- Every day pray this scripture, that God will create in you a clean (or pure) heart.
- And everyone was given a paper heart (of their choosing) so if and as the Spirit leads, feel free to write (or draw) what God might be putting in your heart in creating it clean/pure/new!
Praying with y’all that God will create in us a clean hear & looking forward to gathering again.
In Christ ~
Rev. Sabrina Slater