Reading (Ephesians 3:16-21)
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
When I arrive back home from Lincoln, usually on a Thursday evening, one of the first jobs that I do is to empty the bag of dirty washing that I have acquired while away into the linen basket. Over the weekend I will do the washing with the aim of emptying the linen basket. There is something very satisfying about looking into the linen basket and finding that it is empty. This does not happen very often as sometimes you are left with a very small load at the bottom of the basket that is not worth doing so you wait for it to mount up again.
Last weekend was one of those occasions when on Saturday afternoon the linen basket was completely empty. I had done all the washing. It was all clean and was hung out to dry. I was able to take the lining out of the basket and give it a good shake so that the basket was properly clean. This did not last very long, of course, as by the end of Saturday more dirty clothes had been placed in the basket.
On Sunday evening I was at the communion service at Old and as we paused in confession to reflect on what we had done that we should not have done or what we had not done that we should have done I was reminded of my washing. Coming to God in repentance with our confession is a bit like doing the washing. We confess to God all that is dirty in our lives and he washes it clean. However our linen basket does not stay empty for long, as each day we do things wrong and we add to the basket. The good news for us is that we do not have to wait for the linen basket to become full or for it to be Sunday, we can empty it before God each day. There is no limit on how much we have to bring, it can be just one thing or it can be a full load, God forgives us our sins when we repent and confess them to him and each day our linen basket can be empty.
There is no limit on how many times God will forgive us either, his washing machine never breaks down, it is always ready to be used, he simply waits for us to approach.
Prayer; For a New Day (David Adam)
God of Time
God of Space
Fill this moment
With your grace.
God of Motion
God of Peace
From each sin
God of Quiet
God of Might
Keep us ever
In your sight.