Growing up, we did a thorough spring cleaning nearly every year that I can remember. We cleaned cupboards inside and out, washed windows inside and out, vacuumed books and baseboards, and swept the ceiling for cobwebs. We worked hard to clean the whole house. And for what? To have a clean house? Oh, I suppose that's a good reason, but is that enough to motivate me to spring clean?
I think God has not only given us a reason for spring cleaning, He is the originator of spring cleaning! Did you know spring cleaning is in the Bible? In Ex. 12:15, God is giving the Israelites instructions for the first Passover/Unleavened Bread Feast and all those that would follow: "Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses."
Leaven is anything that causes rising, such as yeast, sourdough, baking powder, baking soda, and cream of tartar. There are several other lesser-known leavening agents as well, but they are not essential to our story.
So how did the Israelites get rid of the leaven in their houses? Did they just throw out all the jars of yeast, cans of baking powder, and boxes of baking soda? (Well, since those items weren't in vogue then, probably not!) But if we were to just throw out those items in our pantry today, would our house be totally free of all leaven? If we all also threw out all breads, crackers, cookies, muffins, tortillas, doughnuts, and almost anything made from a grain, would our homes then be leaven-free? What about those cookie crumbs under the couch or the bread crumbs that find their way to some unseen corner?
The only way to be absolutely sure all the leaven was gone, and this was extremely important to the Israelites and still is for Jews today, was to clean every nook and cranny, and especially the corners of the house. We know that today as spring cleaning!
So here we have God's idea for a special house cleaning, and then what was to follow? A feast! A solemn, yet joyous, celebration! Look for this special celebration coming up April 13 this year!
Now, I don't know about you, but I can't "spring clean" my whole house in one day, even with my children helping me, so I will start early. It sure does make a difference to have a reason to clean! And I get to enjoy the clean house!