What is Cleanliness?
There is the physical act of being clean as in washing the dirt off. One of many Bible verses about physical cleanliness, Genesis 18:4, states, “Please let a little water be brought and wash your feet and rest yourselves under the tree.”
There is the spiritual side of being clean as in loving all others and living a Jesus-driven life. Isaiah 1:16 states “Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from my sight and cease to do evil.”
There is the exterior outside of our human body, and the Bible even covers camp regulations in Deuteronomy admonishing camp dwellers to cover up their excrement before the Lord walks in their camp. Cleanliness can encompass the soul of a person as read in Psalm 51:10, “Create in me a clean heart, God, and renew a steadfast spirit in me.”
However, does God turn away from the homeless, refugees, and those who don’t have access to facilities and getting physically clean? No. When your heart turns dark from anger or despair, does God reject you? No. What about so-called unclean thoughts? Let’s say it; impure thoughts are usually about sex. Is there anytime God will reject anyone? No.
Cleanliness, while physical, is also a state of mind and heart, and something to be attained, including living a Jesus-driven life (or life guided by a higher power). Just because someone’s exterior is covered with dirty clothes and dirt-encrusted skin, his heart can be clean and pure. The reverse is also true that a physically clean person can be hiding addictions to porn or the gratification of violence. There are those filled with the desire for revenge, or greed, or a thirst for power.
People can attend church every Sunday and even quote Bible scriptures but are not living a life following Jesus. It is all about a person’s intention and demonstration of living a clean life as living in love for God and all others.
Cleanliness is transformed into a state of mind that strives to love everyone while serving God. The Bible (Matthew 8:1-4; Mark 1:40-45 and Luke 5:12-16) tells the story of Jesus cleansing a leper by touching his hand and telling him to be clean. Leprosy was considered so vile that those suffering from it were quarantined and kept separate from others. Still, Jesus was not afraid and reached out to everyone.
Here is where a table comes in handy.
When you sit with people, you can begin to understand their heart. The invisible becomes human. The poor become valuable people ready to contribute. Those different from you are no longer an unknown but a person just like you in many ways. Clean develops into a state of mind covering the physical, exterior, and soul of a person.
Downtown Faith is set up with tables, a chance to get to know someone in a truly loving place with a revolutionary approach. If you can’t handle Sunday mornings or walking into a “church,” there is Pub Theology the last Monday of the month at Bangor Brewing in downtown Las Vegas. You can order a drink (including a beer) and join a group of people at a table to talk about life. If interested, check out dtlvfaith.com
Then there is the book, Build A Bigger Table: Creating Space to Discuss Life & Faith by Jeremy Martin. This book is a beautiful blueprint of a new way to LIVE in faith. Join the discussion!
Author: Debbie Hall