Daily Office Readings for Friday of Proper 15, Year 2
Psalms 140, 142, 141, 143:1-11(12); Job 2:1-13; Acts 9:1-9; John 6:27-40
“Set a watch before my mouth, O Lord, and guard the door of my lips; let not my heart incline to any evil thing.” (Psalm 141:3)
So many times in my life I have wished that I had a guard at the door of my lips. Such an idea gives the term “lip lock,” normally indicating a long and passionate kiss, a new meaning. So many times I wish I had filtered what I was going to say before I hit the “send” button of my mouth. Just yesterday there was yet another fired sports caster who used a homophobic slur. Our mouths get us in trouble. But it doesn’t start with our mouths.
The Psalmist also says, “let not my heart incline to any evil thing.” Our heart and mind is where it all begins. And in most cases, we can’t fix our hearts by ourselves. We must seek help. If we ask God to first fix our hearts, (and God will), the mouth and hands will fall in, and follow the heart as it always does.
This is why I always refer to our Collect for Purity as found in our Book of Common Prayer. It prays; “Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy Name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.” (p.355)
This prayer is nice but if one does not really want to be better, praying it would be a waste of time. We have to first want to be better people. After the desire to be better is realized, then we must seek help from God. With God all things are possible. If the ugliness is not in our hearts it cannot come through our mouths or hands. We won’t even accidently say anything wrong or hurtful. “Set a watch before my mouth, O Lord, and guard the door of my lips; let not my heart incline to any evil thing.” (Psalm 141:3) Please ponder and pray on this.
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to and through the saints of God and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John