... in the southern hemisphere anyway.
But as the weather turns decidedly Fall-en here, I'm still thinking about Spring cleaning. The reason being - I've just preached on Exodus 12 tonight. In preparation I was thinking about the Feast of Unleavened Bread (I speak about it some more in my 1 Corinthians 5 sermon).
Basically the Feast of Unleavened Bread begins with Passover and then continues with the purging of yeast from Israelite households. (see e.g. Exodus 12:15) What's wrong with yeast you might ask? Yeast kept a person in slavery. If, when the other Israelites were eating and fleeing in haste, you're waiting for your bread to rise, it's clear where your heart is. (Ex 12:33-34) You're not really committed to the LORD's deliverance. You'd rather live it up in Egypt.
So then every year after Passover, the Israelites were to purge their households of any sign of this compromise. It was a cleansing symbolic of a spiritual spring clean (see how Paul applies it in 1 Cor 5:7-8). Cupboard examination pointed to self-examination. Am I really on board with the LORD's redemption, or is my heart still in Egypt?
What's interesting to me is that we have a Christian festival of self-examination. It's called Lent. But when does it come? Not after Passover (Easter) - but before. Unfortunately in our calendar we have a spiritual spring clean before Jesus dies for us. In the Hebrew calendar - Passover was the very first thing (Ex 12:2).
In the bible, we are redeemed as helpless, enslaved sinners. In fact nothing can happen before the LORD's salvation. Later we consider compromise in our lives.
So much of our church experience teaches the Lent then Easter pattern. We clean ourselves up and then God helps those who help themselves.
Reminds me of the worst sermon I ever heard.
But maybe that's for another post...