Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your holy spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit.
---Psalm 51: 10-12
On March 8th, 2023, members of the congregation gathered via Zoom to hear a presentation that talked about one option available in this time of transition. One option is redeveloping or repurposing assets that the congregation has, specifically buildings and land. This option requires involvement and dedication by members to the task. It is not for the faint of heart.
I wonder about the words of the Psalmist, “Create in me a clean heart, and put a new and right spirit within me.” The season of Lent uses these words to have individuals look at their hearts and the separation or sin, between their heart and God. Could the plea also apply to a new heart, where the heart discerns the leading of God’s spirit and opens to new ways of being (new ways of being community, being church)? Can these verses from Psalm 51 be our prayer during this time of transition?
Being faithful -having a new and open heart- in time of transition means that the community is willing to take risks, seek relationships, and embrace change.
A reply to last week’s “Together We Know” devotion reads: The use of the word transition is very appropriate in my mind. Transition and evolution imply movement and action. What could be will be dependent on us seeing the words Church and Congregation as more of a verb than a noun ----John
Did you notice in Psalm 51 the importance of verbs? Create, put, cast, take, restore, sustain: each thought begins with a verb. The prayer asks God to BE working in us, transforming who we are by transforming our hearts, spirits, and wills.
Clean hearts, new and right spirits, restored joy, and sustained willing spirits – asking these things of God means a change in us and a responsibility to take action; to be living verbs. John’s “Together We Know” thoughts included a piece that in my mind explains living into create in me a clean heart and a right spirit:
4 essential practices to sustain the community through transition:
- Be there! We will all need to be more emotionally present for people and strengthen relationships.
- Play! We will have to approach this with enthusiasm and fun. Play drives the spirit of creativity.
- Make someone’s day! Ways will need to be found to serve and delight our members in a meaningful and memorable way.
- Choose our attitude! Our behavioural choices impact others in the congregation and is this attitude helping me to be the person I am called to be.
Please continue to reflect and share your responses to: “What Could Be” and “What My Contribution Will Be…” For a fuller explanation of the activity, click this link:
Through this season of transition you are invited to daily pray Psalm 51: 10-12.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your holy spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit. AMEN and AMEN