My wife, daughter and I are doing a “juice cleanse.” We just couldn’t live with ourselves and how are bodies felt after four days of Thanksgiving excess. Sure, we had 37 family and friends for the big meal, but two large turkeys and two whole hams? Plus all the fixins’? And 10 pies? After several laps around the table, we had barely made a dent. Don’t get me wrong, the food and drink were fantastic while we were gorging ourselves, but we quickly got to the point of feeling stuffed, bloated, lethargic, and more than a bit guilty. By Sunday evening, the oft-repeated phrase around our house was “I’m never going to eat again.” So, first thing Monday morning, I was sent to our local juice bar to buy a plan for each of us because a juice cleanse just sounded like a good idea.
A Deep Longing
Would that it were so easy. There is something deep within us that longs to be clean again. Well beyond what we ingest, we know there are more significant decisions that leave a stain on us, causing others hurt and soiling our bodies, minds, hearts and character. Jesus pointed that out, questioning why the religious people of his day were so focused on what food we eat and whether we ceremoniously wash our hands before dining. We’re missing the point as to what “defiles” us and makes us unclean, he said (Matthew 15:10-20). It is selfish thoughts of many varieties which we harbor in our hearts and minds that eventually spill out in reckless actions and words, perhaps as some of us experienced around the Thanksgiving table this year or in years past.
Knowing that soiled feeling well, having said and done things that I can’t take back, I’m struck by the poignant lyric of Third Eye Blind:
Where do we begin. To get clean again
Can we get clean again.
I suppose that is the question, isn’t it? Can we get clean again? On a superficial level, it is the hope motivating my trip to the juice bar. Deeper still, it reverberates in a mind faced with past regrets. It certainly did with King David, after his adultery with Bathsheba and murder of her husband Uriah were exposed (Psalm 51:1-6). Acknowledging his wrongs, he found his hope to be clean again in God’s unfailing love and compassion: “Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me and I will be whiter than snow” (Psalm 51:7)
An Offer to All
It is an offer extended by God to us all:
“Come now, let us settle the matter,”
says the Lord.
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
they shall be like wool. (Isaiah 1:16-18)
We can get clean again, thank God. And that is good news, indeed.
 Third Eye Blind, “God of Wine” (Third Eye Blind, Elektra 1997)