Fifth Sunday in Lent: Cleaning Up or the Return of Psalm 51

Lectionary reading for this week are:  Jeremiah 31:31-34, Psalm 51:1-12, Psalm 119:9-16, Hebrews 5:5-10, John 12:20-33.

I find it interesting that as we enter "the home stretch" (as it were) of Lent, that one of the lectionary readings (Psalm 51: 1-12) is also a reading for Ash Wednesday.  So I decided to take a look at it again and the words:  "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me" stood out.

Spring is right around the corner. (Can I hear a Hallelujah!?  After 3 Nor'easters and more snow in three weeks than we've had all winter we need the promise of spring).  We often talk/think of spring cleaning.  Maybe we actually DO some spring cleaning. (I know I NEED to do some!)  At the signs of spring, life begins anew.  Flowers peak their heads through the earth and wildlife awakens (as is evident by the chattering of birds with the dawn.)  Spring cleaning makes sense; purging the old and dusty and making our homes clean and fresh.

But how do we clean our hearts?  How do we wash out the bitterness, the anger, the frustration?  How do we open our hearts and let the "right spirit" in?

As (if?) we have spent the Lenten season giving up and giving of, perhaps now is the time/week to let go.  Let go of past hurts and injuries.  To allow the burdens to be lifted and to start anew so that we, like the flowers of the field, may burst forth from the darkness and show the beauty that lies within us.

It may be easy or it may not be, but cast off the darkness.  Let your heart be cleansed and the embrace spirit of spring and what is to be.


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