Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.
— Psalm 51:1–2

As we come to the end of the week, let’s focus on what it means to be cleansed by God. David asked God to cleanse him from his sin and remove what was dirty. He wanted the grime and filth to be white as snow.

I think we can all relate to being dirty and sweaty and looking forward to getting out of dirty clothes and into the shower to clean off. There is relief in removing what is not wanted and getting renewed for the next part of the day. Similarly, when we are entangled and imprisoned with our sin and selfishness, being cleansed from that is like having a spiritual shower. God takes the dirty mess we are in and makes us new and fresh.

Once, on a junior-high retreat, we played a game where we gave every student a latex glove to wear for 24 hours. At first, they thought it was fun and touched their face and their skin. But by the next morning, many of them were not enjoying it anymore. It was becoming hot and sweaty inside their gloves, and their hands were wet and wrinkly. During that final session, they were in small groups with their leaders who removed the gloves slowly as they encouraged and affirmed each student and washed their hands. The leader would tell the students how the glove seemed fun and new last night, but now is starting to feel bad and stink just like sin in our lives. It seems fun for a while, and then it has very negative effects. The thing I remember the most about that activity is when the kids talked about how much better they felt when the glove was removed. That is what cleansing will do!

Being made clean gives us hope for what is next. God wants to make us clean and new again!

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
— 1 John 1:9