My sweet friend Lauren once described our tendency to love things other than Christ in such a poignant way. She described our hearts (biblically, the seat of our emotions, thoughts, and reason) as little idol factories--"prone to wander" as the hymnist writes.
This morning in Sunday school we talked about God's attributes of righteousness/justice and mercy. Righteousness, we learned, is bascially meeting the standard of what is right, and we know that God is the only thing that is right. He defines right by his very existence (if he didn't, then he would not be God, because the ultimate being must be the ultimate standard).
We began to discuss our righteousness as humans and it got me thinking about the human condition. Though we all wish to believe that in and of ourselves we have redeemable qualities, by observation of humanity, especially a small child, it seems to be quite clear that selfishness and ungodliness are at the core of our being. How is it then that one would hope to produce some sort of pure thing from a flawed source? Most scientists do not expect impure things to beget pure things. Would you expect a diseased mammal to give birth to a completely healthy one? Would you expect fresh water to come from a salt source? And yet we somehow expect that our little idol factories can produce something worthy of the Pure and Holy one. On our own it just isn't so.
Luckily this isn't the end of the story. God has made a way for us to become pure, by offering us the blood of the only perfect sacrificial lamb, Christ Jesus. By sprinkling us he makes us clean. (See Hebrews 9,Isaiah 1:18, 1 Peter 1:1-2)