Archive for February, 2016

February 1, 2016

Spring Cleaning for the Soul (February)

We are in the middle of winter. It may not feel like it now, but spring is just around the corner. Spring is my favorite season for many reasons. The days are longer and brighter. New life springs forth all over Creation. We Christians even celebrate new life emerge from a tomb! Can it get any better?

On top of all this, I look forward to the day when I can open my windows once again and breathe the fresh air of a cool spring breeze. It’s a great day to pair with a good spring cleaning of the house. Sweep up the dusty corners, clear the cobwebs, and do a thorough cleaning from roof to basement. It’s a little hard work, which gets your body moving. And I always find something that I had lost or forgotten three months ago!

If there is anything close to a “spring cleaning” for the soul, it would be Lent, a word meaning ‘spring.’ During these forty days leading up to Easter, Christians have taken the time to open the windows of their heart, let some fresh air in, and allow God’s light to shine in every dark corner. In essence, we echo the words of Psalm 139, “You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. See if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

Lent is a time when we take a concerted effort to purify our hearts and clean up our lives. This is something we should be doing all year, but like spring cleaning, sometimes we need to stop everything else and focus on the task. As we set aside special days to focus on things we should not forget throughout the year (e.g. Mother’s Day, MLK Jr. Day, Christmas), Lent is a time to focus on repentance and holiness. And like Christmas, Lent is not commanded in Scripture, but Christians for centuries have found it edifying to the soul to write it in their calendars and take special care to practice it.

Join me, beginning on February 10th, a special service of Ash Wednesday, in participating in a spring cleaning of the soul as we prepare for Easter. Who knows, perhaps like me you will discover something about yourself that had been lost or forgotten.

In Christ,

Pastor Rich