Last week, a young man in a black hoodie steam cleaned all the chairs at church.
I’m embarrassed to tell you how filthy the chairs were. Five years of spaghetti dinners and Vacation Bible Schools accumulated in real time.
The cleaner’s hoodie reads, “Left it in the Waters.” His sister gave it to him when he was baptized two Easters ago. He went from being someone who didn’t know any Christians and didn’t know there was a church next to his house to being someone completely transformed by Christ.
Now he does a lot of the behind the scenes work at church- steam cleaning chairs, filling the soap dispensers, making dessert for children’s Sunday school suppers.
When he showed me a before and after photo of the first chair he steam cleaned, we decided the chair could also say, “Left it in the waters!”
Steam cleaning works by heating water to approximately 300 degrees, transforming it to water vapor. Pressure forces the water vapor through the wand attachment. The water vapor then blasts the dirt and grime from the surface. The heat also kills dust mites and pathogens. Finally, the vaccum portion of the cleaner captures all the filth that the vapor has collected.
The heat and pressure of suffering accomplished our cleansing when Jesus died on the cross. He told His disciples, “It is to your advantgae that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send Him to you.”
The heat and suffering of the death of Christ ultimately produced the vapor of the Holy Spirit.
“And when He comes, He will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment.”
The vapor of the Holy Spirit cleanses us from the filth and pathogens of sin. It may not be a comfortable process, but it is a necessary one if we will ever be clean.
The Spirit of Christ vaccums away all the evidence of grime and debris until nothing dirty is left.
The young man brought me a water bottle on Sunday that was filled with a grey sludge.
“What is this?” I wondered.
“This is the dirt from only one chair!” he said.
He had captured all the materials and germs which made the chair dirty and could now just dispose of it. We have a lot of chairs in our church. I looked from the sludge bottle in his hand to all of the other chairs.
We fill those chairs on Sundays. How dirty are our hearts when we come to worship?
When we come together to worship Jesus, we should first allow Him to do the work of steam cleaning our hearts. “He was pierced for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace.”
After the Holy Spirit vaporizes and vaccums the grime, He can then coat our clean hearts with protectant. “When the Spirit of Truth comes, He will guide you into all Truth.”
Then we can all say, “Left it in the waters.”