Every morning, without fail, I go down stairs to the kitchen and find a pot of coffee waiting for me. My husband makes it for me before he leaves for work. There is nothing nicer than waking up to coffee already made. I count it as the first blessing of the day. What happens next, however, not many people know. It is a bit embarrassing to admit to – but before reaching for the morning coffee, I open the cabinet, pull down a coffee cup and peer inside it see if it is clean. That would not be shameful in and of itself, but if you knew that I tried 3 or 4 cups before I come across one that is clean enough to drink from.. uh, that is disgusting.
How do I know this? Because In my half asleep state I have in fact poured coffee into such cups and been drinking from them only to notice parts of a potato peel floating happily in my drink.
Sooo – ok – no one is begging to come to my house for dinner, now huh?
Jesus encountered a group of people whose religious piety was as effective as my dishwasher, both producing lives that were spotless on the outside, but the inside? The part that really matters? It’s caked with grime.
His message is that faith is not a matter of keeping external rules, without regard for what's inside you. You must pay attention to the condition of your heart! Our heart is where our problems begin.
Now, if we took daily inventory of all that swirls within our minds and hearts – we might intentionally stop each day, and ask God to scrub us clean. We all have sin within us, all of us – it’s nothing God doesn’t know about. But to turn to God for the removal of sin is the first step on a path that is traditionally called the journey of inward holiness.
This cleaning up may not always feel GOOD – those scrubbing bubbles may feel like brillo pads at times. But holiness is a process of being made aware of our shortcomings, our blind spots, our areas of life that are still growing. Holiness is God’s act of giving us grace and forgiveness while at the same time calling us to greater depths of faithfulness.. This is what the apostle calls “his spirit witnessing to our spirit”
When the God who is holy and dwells in us,
we - who are made in his image, but fallen short of his glory, surrender to his Divine love. Not for our own glory, but so that he will be the source of our every moment, and shine through us.
But we must first “let the son shine in.”