Washed Clean – Week of January 10, 2022
But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.
Working in early childhood can be a messy venture. “Don’t lick the table” is a phrase I never thought I would have to say. When cold and allergy season hit, the battle of the germs begins in earnest. Don’t forget to wash your hands! Did you use soap this time? We wipe tables, clean toys, and encourage children to wash away the germs. After all, we want our students to learn and laugh and play with each other, and feeling healthy helps make that possible.
In his letter to Titus, Paul writes about a different sickness that contaminates us. “At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.” (Titus 3:3). All of us are infected with sin from birth. But notice the past tense in that verse: “we too were foolish. . . we lived in envy. . .” How can these sins be gone? We were washed clean. “He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior.” (Titus 3:5-6). Through the waters of baptism and the words of Jesus’ salvation, the Holy Spirit makes us healthy, free from sin’s sickness.
Paul calls this washing a renewal. While we daily struggle with sin, we are renewed by the Holy Spirit to live a new, clean life. Because God so generously pours out blessings of love and forgiveness, we spend our lives serving him and the people around us. We have opportunities in our classrooms as we patiently teach and encourage our students. We help them show their love for Jesus through their songs, prayers, words, and actions. And when we leave the classroom, we spread God’s love in our homes and every place we go. We live lives of renewal, knowing that each day our mistakes and missed opportunities are washed clean.
As many times as we wipe down toys and have our students wash their hands, sickness still strikes us and our students. The Holy Spirit’s washing, however, is perfect and complete. We are clean. We have heaven waiting for us where we will spend eternity with our Savior. And it will be fine to lick the table.
Dear Jesus, thank you for washing me clean from my sins. Guide me in my life of renewal until I join you in eternity.
Holy Spirit, fill my heart, cleanse my life in every part;
Your own temple I would be now and for eternity. Amen.