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Dear Saints,

There’s a curious human tradition some of us participate in each year … Spring Cleaning. All Winter things pile up around us. In preparation for Spring, we’re moved to clean up things inside and out. It even happens with FLC – March 16th is our FLC Spring cleaning day! 

Clutter affects more than our homes though. In the season of Lent – another Spring-time period – we’re called to reflect on our life with God and each other. As we do, we might see the need for some spiritual Spring Cleaning. Our readings for the 3rd Sunday in Lent reflect this. 

Jesus shows up at the temple for Passover, typically in the March-to-April timeframe. He sees the complete chaos going on – animals are being sold for sacrifices, moneychangers are turning Roman coins into temple shekels. The temple, Jesus’ Father’s house, is being completely misused through thoughtless commerce instead of heartfelt worship. In righteous anger Jesus shouts, “Do not make my Father’s house a house of trade,” (John 2:16) as He begins some Spring cleaning! 

His Father’s house had become polluted by corrupt commerce – taking advantage of people who needed certain items to make their sacrifices and pay their tithes to support the temple’s work. Jesus saw this commerce for what it was … blatant disregard for God in order to make a few extra shekels at the people’s expense. 

Today, by virtue of our baptisms, we are also temples in which God dwells. But we are also still sinners. God cannot dwell in the presence of sin. Therefore, because He desires to dwell among and within us as He promises, He cleanses our souls Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. The Holy Spirit, dwelling within us, causes us to feel guilt for our sins. He also enables us to believe God’s promise of forgiveness, moving us to confess our sins. Then God forgives us – cleansing the temple of our souls where He dwells. Cleansing each of us, not with whips of cords and righteous anger, by rather by His blood, poured out for us on the Cross.

                                                                                        Your Fellow Saint,

                                                                                        Pastor Jim