My Bible reading this morning was Genesis 35 and I was struck by verse 2, where Jacob says to his household and to all who were with him, “Get rid of the foreign gods you have with you, and purify yourselves and change your clothes.” (My italics…I’ve always wanted to say that!).
The changing your clothes bit reminded me of Jude verse 23, “Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear – hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.”
When I returned home from work on Saturday, Catherine insisted I threw all the clothes I had been wearing that day into the washing basket (like I know where that is!), took a bath and then put clean clothes on. She was of course making sure that I was free from any contamination that I had met with that day. This is exactly what Jacob was doing with his household and all who were with him. They would shortly be heading to Bethal to settle there; a fresh start.
The changing of their clothes is a way of showing how serious the contamination of sin is. When we make a fresh start, the change must be thorough. When it comes to Covid 19 everyone seems to understand the importance of cleansing, the shops have been running out of hand sanitiser and the like. This we can take as an illustration of the importance of regular cleansing from sin. Sin contaminates every area of ourselves and life. Let us be thankful to God, that we are cleansed through the blood of Jesus!
Jacob and his household were moving on, they were closing one chapter of their lives and heading into another. It may take a while before the world is ready to move on from the present crisis we are all in, but that day will come. What an opportunity for the world to cleanse itself and be a better place. We can only wait and see if that happens but what about the Church, what about us, KEC? Most certainly we will need to cleanse the church physically, ready for when we return. My prayer is that we won’t just leave it there but will take this opportunity to be cleansed thoroughly in every way by God’s word; more mature in faith and unity of the Spirit, having been bonded more and more by our servicing each other through this present time of crisis.