Friday, August 27, 2010

Meditation On A Puritan Prayer – August 20 2010 Part III

Let no evil this day soil my thoughts, words, hands. May I travel miry paths with a life pure from spot or stain. In needful transactions let my affection be in heaven, and my love soar upwards in flames of fire, my gaze fixed on unseen things, my eyes open to the emptiness, fragility, mockery of earth and its vanities.

I look forward to a new heaven and earth. Not so much in a literal sense, but in an interior sense. After all, what good is a new physical universe without a new interior universe? It isn’t what’s “out there” that is my problem, but rather what’s inside me. How cruel it would be to place us in a new physical realm without transforming our interior heavens.


And so we have a Biblical emphasis on our thought lives and on the life of the heart. We are transformed by “the renewing of our minds” that we might know the perfect will of God.


Just as evil polluted the realm of the unseen, and just as it moved from the unseen into the physical universe; so evil pollutes our hearts and minds and soils that which God created in purity. One of our problems is that evil and pollution are normative, we are accustomed to it, and therefore it is often difficult for us to identify it.


We applaud the things the world applauds; even though Scripture teaches us that “the whole world lies in the wicked one.” We laugh at the things the world laughs at, seek the things the world seeks, teach our children to be successful in the world’s eyes – and all the while Screwtape and friends mock us and no doubt ridicule our stupidity. How often I have played the fool for their amusement!


Solomon wrote that all is emptiness, vanity, and that the rich man ends up like the poor man; and yet we ignore his words and heap accolades on the rich and pity and distain on the poor. Christ says that the widow gave more than all others who were casting in their money – but we don’t really believe Him. Paul teaches that we ought to let those who are least esteemed in the church judge matters – but who in their right mind would actually do that?


It has occurred to me that followers of Christ need not apologize for what they do not know about evil and impurity. It has also occurred to me that perhaps we should repent for some of the things we do know – for we know many things through volition and not by accident. There is nothing wrong with not knowing what people are talking about if what they are talking about is impure. Of course if one is Pharisaical that is another matter, and the wise man or woman will fear that temptation; the wise woman or man will know that outside of Christ she or he is capable of all forms of evil – but oh the greatness of our salvation in Christ and of our security in Christ – the Great Renovator of our interior heavens.

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