Cleaning House

Sunday, March 29, 2015
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Listen while you read: "Ride On Ride On In Majesty"1 (Lyrics)

I remember many, many years ago that every spring, my mother did her spring cleaning. It seems that a lot of people on our street did that on the same day or in the same week, as soon as the weather turned nice. There would be blankets on the clotheslines and bedspreads hanging out of bedroom windows. Everything would get washed and aired out after a long winter.

On spring cleaning day when I came home from school, the chairs would be upside down on the dining area table, the furniture away from the walls, and mother was cleaning house. We had a small house, so thankfully, it lasted only one day, or two at the most. It was a time of frustration but also of renewal. The silver was polished and the whole house smelled of furniture wax.

The people of Israel anticipated a time of worship and renewal as they made their way to the temple to celebrate their religious feasts. As they walked, they sang songs of ascents:

Psalm 122:1 – I was glad when they said to me, "Let us go into the house of the Lord." (NKJV)

On Palm Sunday, after Jesus had ridden into Jerusalem on a donkey's colt to the acclaim of the crowds, He and His followers went up to the temple. What a disappointment it must have been for Jesus and those with Him when they arrived and saw that commercial trade had taken over that place of worship. Then, Jesus did something seemingly totally out of character:

Matthew 21:12 – Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. (NKJV)

Jesus decided to put a stop to it; it was time to clean His Father's house.

There is a good lesson in this story for all of us. Just like we clean house every so often, so also we need to clean up our lives. There are times when we need to throw things out — not physical things, but things of the heart: bad thoughts, bad ideas, bad habits, bad opinions of others. Sometimes, we even don't appreciate some of the people in our church. There are times when things of the world hinder our lives of faith.

We need to make a change in our lives and make room for good things: good thoughts, good discussions, good ideas. We need to mend broken relationships.

Psalm 133:1 – How good and pleasant it is when God's people live together in peace! (NIRV)

Prayer: Our Father in heaven, there are times in our lives when we don't get along with people, times when we try to avoid them, times when we have bad thoughts about them, or even gossip about them. We earnestly pray, Lord, that You would take evil thoughts away from our hearts. We ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.

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About the author:

Joel Jongkind <>
Meaford, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you Joel.

    Bro. Joel, what would Jesus drive out of our CHURCHES today?!

    Thanks Joel for sharing. Hope you have a good week leading up to Easter.

    Ah yes, I remember spring cleaning days — and glad to be reminded to clean up in other ways as well.

    Good Palm Sunday morning Joel: Scrub pails, new wallpaper, paint cans is what I remember as a chld! I preached on the very same subject recently, so thank you for refreshing my mind. Sometimes as a preacher we concentrate on preparing a sermon and do not take the time to reflect on it…so thank you and God’s blessings as you enter this week of the Holiest of days.

    Hello Joel
    It is always great pleasure reading your devotions.
    It gives me more closure of who I am and it makes me a better individual.
    Thanks for your words of inspiration and the Scriptures that I can apply to my life as well.
    May God continue to bless you and continue writing your inspiring devotion.
    God bless,
    (Trinidad west indies)

    When we were young the house being heated with wood made the need for annual housecleaning. Although today we need to clean or wash walls sometimes too. The stove pipes had to be cleaned to prevent fire in them and one time this one minister came to call and my mother said I am sorry I cannot invite you in today. I am housecleaning and the minister said “my wife keeps the house clean all the time so she does not have to houseclean.” oh my that did not endear him to her when she hated having to clean those stove pipes but they needed doing.
    Enjoy reading your writing.

    Once again a great devotional – looking forward to spring, and the renewal of life and the church.

    Excellent thoughts, Joel. I once facilitated a study on the songs of ascents which was totally fascinating to me. The background of the Israel feasts pointed to Jesus and even He took part in them when on this earth. Let’s all do our necessary spring cleaning with joyful hearts!

    I always appreciate your insights and I love it when they give a glimpse into your past, too!
    I love that you’re writing these. They make me think and brighten my day!

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