December 11, 2019

Washing Hands

December 11, 2019


Matthew 11:10
Matthew 3:3
This weekend’s scripture: Matthew 11:2-11


Recently, I heard a renowned counselor suggest that people need to wash their hands before going to the restroom as well as afterward.  He said that our hands could pass germs to the rest of the body while administering bathroom rituals.
Likewise, he suggests that before encountering another person, it is important to wash our minds and hearts of previous events so we could be fully present with whomever.  He suggests that, before another job interview, that we wash our hands of the success or failure of a previous interview.  Before we begin another job, accept another position at church, drive a car, have that confrontation, or attend worship, we need to wash our hands of the previous experiences.  While needing to learn from our past, washing our hands of the success or failure of those experiences reduces the chance of unhealthy memories infecting the current encounters. It prepares us to be more fully present with the current encounter.
John the Baptist said, “…prepare the way for the Lord” (Matthew 3:3).  One way to “prepare the way for the Lord” is to wash our hands of our past successes and failures and to receive the presence of the Lord at this moment, the sacred now!

Questions for the Field

  1. What has been on your mind this morning or throughout the day? Are they memories of the past, a focus on the present, or goals for your future?
  2. Which memories of your past with your family, experiences of school, and issues at work are infecting the present?
  3. If you were to focus on Jesus’ guidance for the rest of the day, how might this help you put the past behind you so you can go forward?
  4. What else might you do to wash your heart and mind from the past so you can be fully present in the sacred now?

Family Field Talk

  1. What experiences, if any, of the past are still affecting how your family members relate to each other?
  2. In what ways can your family members help you put the past behind you and live in the moment?

Prayer Guide

Gracious Lord, Jesus Christ, there are so many ghosts of our past that haunt us today. Please help us see the impotence of the ghosts of our previous experiences compared to what you can do.  Please help us wash our hearts, souls, minds, and experiences of our past, so we can live in the sacred present with you.  In your gracious name, I pray.  Amen.