Time for Spring Cleaning!

This is the season of Lent for churches following the Christian calendar. Our church has been participating in a version of Lent for several years now. There have been times in the past when a guest speaker was invited to lead in revival services for a few days. On most occasions, the pastor has preached special messages on personal renewal to encourage humility, repentance, and selfless service for others during the weeks leading up to Easter.

Again this year, we have plans to commemorate the Lord's death on the cross with a Maundy Thursday "Service of Darkness" and observe the Lord's Supper. And of course, we will be rejoicing in the Risen Christ on Easter Sunday morning as worshipers share the Paschal greeting and acclamation, "Christ is risen! He's risen indeed!" These Easter practices are like a spiritual spring cleaning!
The "tools" of spring cleaning!

My Mother practiced another kind of spring cleaning. It was the literal seasonal spring exercise of mattress airing, deep vacuuming throughout the house, and of course, the windows needed cleaning inside and out.

Although Mom was small in stature, I have seen her single-handedly pull a full-sized mattress off the box springs and lug that mass out to the front porch to air in the breeze and be exposed to the morning spring sunshine. Her diligence insured that we never had a problem with bed bugs!

Most of the time, Mom did not need nor want any help with the spring projects. However, there was the matter of window cleaning and that involved my "partnership." I was given a roll of paper towels with a bottle of window cleaner and instructed to get the five-foot step ladder from Dad's shop and plant it firmly outside each window to be cleaned while Mom took the inside position as "dictator in charge!" She was a perfectionist of the highest order! Do I need to say any more?

I wish I could say, "Window cleaning was my fondest memory!" But, oh how I dreaded that particular spring ritual! I would hurriedly clean my outside pane while Mom was thoroughly polishing hers and then I would look through to see her pointing that long finger and tapping on a speck that I had overlooked. Why was that minute imperfection always on the outside?! This signaled a "re-do!" So, with paper and cleaner I would wipe with greater diligence until I had achieved Mother's level of perfection! I'm still not fond of window cleaning, but I have to say, that "practice in perfection" was in the first three job descriptions of my youth! And, that commitment to excellence has served me well over the years.

Jesus achieved the highest level of perfection in history on Calvary's Cross that first Easter weekend! Once for all time and never to be repeated again, His sacrificial death satisfies (propitiates) God's wrath toward sin. As a result, Jesus' death imparted a righteousness to every man, woman and child who ever trusts in Christ as Lord and Savior. The Scripture makes clear the necessity for this spiritual cleansing, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forth as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith" (Romans 3:23-25a, ESV).

We need to observe Lent to remember why Jesus came to this earth and what His coming did to meet the deepest need we have for perfect cleansing from sin. My prayer at this Lenten season and always is "Lord, do your work of "spring cleaning" in our hearts once again!"

Mike Keppler, retired pastor,
active churchman and
doting grandparent.
Contact: drmjkeppler@gmail.com



Comments

  1. Good stuff Mike! As a former Catholic, the aversion to celebrate Lent in Baptist churches always puzzled me.

    ReplyDelete

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