This month marks the beginning of spring. Typically we associate spring with a good spring cleaning. But why this season? The idea of spring cleaning is often associated with a particular climate. But it has also been tied to different religious traditions, such as the Great Lent in Greek Orthodox nations and the Jewish Passover that remembers the quick flight of the Jews from captivity. Ecclesiastes 3:1 says “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.” Even cleaning.
In our particular climate, spring is the preferred season for cleaning activities. In fact, before the advent of the vacuum cleaner, early spring was the perfect time to dust because it was warm enough to open windows and doors so the March winds could carry out the dust, but it wasn’t so hot that insects were ready to move into the house (Wikipedia).
But not all of us stick to the norms around us and sometimes our hearts and motivations do not match the traditions tied to the weather or our regularly scheduled religious activities. The weather will be getting warmer. Lent is upon us. The expectation is that we clean out not only our homes, but also our hearts. Psalm 51:10 takes off a little bit of the pressure though, because it reminds us that our spiritual cleansing is not something we have to buy a shop sized vac to accomplish. This particular prayer was a plea for God to do the real work of deep cleaning by “Creating ….. a clean heart, O God; and renewing a right spirit within….” Let’s make that our prayer in worship and song this season—well summarized in the song lyrics that go “Change my heart oh God, make it ever true. Change my heart oh God, make me more like you.” Happy spring cleaning!