Spring cleaning seemed to always come on a Saturday, because even if it came on Tuesday, rest assured, Mother Fannie Estelle Grant would put every child to work on that first weekend of spring. We had to rake the yard, wash windows (inside and out), wash fingerprints off the walls and doors — you name it, and every man who had a hand, had a right. We did it as a family.
Yet, when it was all over, we could breathe a sigh of relief. It felt good for everything to be so clean! The clean smell of furniture polish, window-washing fluid and scented detergents, including bleach. Everything was spotless.
You know the saying, “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” When we grow up cleaning for spring, we pretty much will keep that tradition going in our own lives, I know I do. In fact, a couple of weeks ago, I found myself washing windows, inside and out and I started throwing out junk from closets and drawers. There is still more to go, but things are looking better.
So I’m thankful for my mother for instilling this sense of cleanliness in me. She would say often, “Cleanliness is next to godliness.”
This reminds me of the Bible story of when Jesus was cleansing the temple. Let us compare and contrast the spring cleaning of our home to the cleansing of the temple. Jesus made everyone get out of the house of God, and cleansed it of its corruption and disorder. He stood against the sinful trappings which worked their way into the House of Worship. The practices of the people of His day were under attack, and in order to make the temple pure and holy once more, Jesus cleansed the temple.
In this article, this week, allow that story to speak to your soul, take a moment to look more closely at that story, paying special attention to how it speaks to us today. The story begins, “The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem …” (John. 2:13).
During Passover, they were celebrating how so many homes that had a bloodstain over the door had been spared. These were Jews who felt thankful for being saved, however, the crowds would enlarge double and triple of what was normal. We can compare Passover to the Christmas season, people busy shopping, lots of activities everywhere! But somehow, they lost control at the space inside the temple.
In the new testaments of Matthew, Mark and Luke, Jesus accuses the merchants of cheating the people. He says, “My house shall be called a house of prayer, but you are making it a den of thieves.” (Matthew 21:13)
Perhaps there were some merchants who were raising their prices, but this is not the focus of Jesus’ anger, according to John. As far as John is concerned, Jesus is upset because all this buying and selling intruded upon the sacred space for worship. In John’s gospel, Jesus says, “Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a marketplace (a house of commerce).” (John 2:16)
This is a good example of how good intentions often get out of hand, when one merchant with pure intentions sets up a table in a small corner of the temple, hoping that a few worshipers might stop by on their way home and maybe buy a couple of items. Then another businessman does the same thing, then another and another, until, before you know it, the temple has turned into a small shopping mall.
The Passover season comes during March and April, leading up to Easter and warmer weather. Remember as you clean your home, be sure to include cleansing your temple — your body is indeed a temple. Fast, pray and think of God and all of His goodness. Maintain control. We have all been indoors, for the most part, for an entire year!
Lyndia Grant is a speaker/writer living in the D.C. area. Her radio show, “Think on These Things,” airs Fridays at 6 p.m. on 1340 AM (WYCB), a Radio One station. To reach Grant, visit her website, www.lyndiagrant.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 240-602-6295. Follow her on Twitter @LyndiaGrant and on Facebook.