We sang some great songs yesterday in church that fit really well with Lent. One of them was the Vineyard standard (circa 1994) “Take My Life” by Scott Underwood. Never thought of it for this season and it had a fresh life for me in this context. We also sang “Give Us Clean Hands” (circa 1997) by Charlie Hall. Great song but it really fits now. Here’s the lyrics:
We bow our hearts, We bend our knees/Oh Spirit come make us humble/We turn our eyes, From evil things/Oh Lord we cast down our idols
So give us clean hands and give us pure hearts/Let us not lift our souls to another/Oh give us clean hands and give us pure hearts/Let us not lift our souls to another
Oh God let this be a generation that seeks, Who seeks Your face, Oh God of Jacob/Oh God let us be a generation that seeks, Who seeks Your face, Oh God of Jacob
I reflected as we were singing that God is concerned about purity of actions (our hands) and purity of motives (our hearts). It’s been easy for me in the individualistic evangelicalism I have lived to make sure my heart is right (i.e. between me and God) but not always get the action part right. More specifically, I think I have worked really hard to deal with my sins that actively affect others (sins of co-mission), but have not done so well on those sins of omission. How unclean have my hands become because I avoided making a phone call to someone to encourage them? Because I didn’t do something intentional to make my wife feel loved and special? Because I didn’t buy some extra food to stock the food pantry at church? Because I didn’t stand up for what was right when there was an injustice? These (and even bigger ones) are the kinds of questions I am wrestling with this Lenten season. What is God doing in your heart during this Lent?