1. Thinking of a Pure heart before God

I am sure we are all conscious of our personal lack of a pure – I mean pure – heart. Our thoughts and actions are often quite unholy. I suppose deep down in our hearts we are all aware of that, even while following different religions.

Every time we are confronted with a death in our immediate family, or someone of our closest circle of friends, or when we see or touch a dead body, we are made aware again of our innate fear of death – or perhaps rather fear of what comes after death. We might be able to  ‘enjoy’ a  ‘good life’, with lots of fun of every kind, but only as long as we suppress any thought about eternity and God. However, eventually and ultimately the certainty of death spoils it all, for we are all aware that, as the Bible puts it:

  “ . . . it is appointed to man once to die – and after that is the judgement”    (Hebrews 9:27).

Ultimately all mankind is ‘in the same boat’, for all have sinned against the eternal God, be it in thought, word or deed.   Is it not interesting to note in this context that every religion follows ritual practices, which signify cleansing? They are essentially no more than symbolic tokens and obviously do not really affect anything by themselves. While we may clean our bodies by such rituals on the outside, we are well aware that water can never wash away sin and by that create a pure heart!   Jesus once made a remarkable statement when confronted about the ritual washing of hands before meals:

“Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man ‘unclean’. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what make a man ‘unclean’” (Matthew 15:17-20).

  Rituals are really no more than a reminder of our need for purification – because we know that we are impure.