Spring Cleaning

Jessica talks about spring cleaning during Holy Week here, how it makes a fitting culmination to lent and a good preparation for Easter.

Good thoughts, as always--if you don't read her blog, you should--and they ran parallel to my own thoughts on the topic. As we drove The Container Store on Thursday, I mused about how I wished we had time to do a Seder. Andy rightly pointed out that getting organized actually has deep spiritual implications, and will do us a lot more good, just by way of clearing out the space and time to focus on important things throughout the year to come.

Maybe next year.

And so my mind flitted through delightful images of teaching the wuggies about God's faithfulness through Israel's long journeys, culminating in Christ. Grimacing at the horseradish, hiding the afikomen, and, of course, the preparatory scurry about the house, clearing out the leaven.

Suddenly, I realized that was exactly what we were doing--getting rid of the leaven. The Festival of Unleavened Bread began with a call to simplicity. Don't even wait for the bread to rise!

And so it is that we are going through our home, clearing out everything that might slow us down in our journey to the Promised Land.

An important element of our spring cleaning is also going to be putting up pictures of Jesus. I'm finding that I desperately need visual reminders of who he is. I can make words so complicated, parsing and analyzing and dissecting. There's a place for that--a very important place, indeed!--but sometimes I can get a little out of focus.

I've been spending a lot of time in the Sermon on the Mount lately, and the familiar words take on new meaning as I picture his face. Spoken from a faceless authority, they are harsh and impossible demands. Spoken from the lips of my redeemer, they become a call to freedom and gracefulness. An easy yoke and a light burden, not the unattainable goal, but the way.

I've always wondered why he warned us against the leaven of the Pharisees, but it makes sense now. It's so easy to take good things, and make them so complicated that they utterly obscure the point, and hold us back from following Jesus freely.

Pictures force me to meditate on Jesus as a whole, his deeds in light of his words, and his words in light of his deeds.

That wholeness cuts right through everything, and clears a path to holiness.

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