May is a month of contrary Hope; an adaptation of Ecclesiastes 3: “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted…” a time to sort and a time to discard.
Spring cleaning involves sorting and taking stock of what we have and what we have lost. The dusting and washing and thorough examination of each item gives us time to reconnect with the statue, nick-nack, or piece of furniture. We recall events surrounding the purchasing or receiving these pieces of our lives. People we haven’t thought of since this time last year, come back to full memory, some with tears and some with laughter. It is a good time of year to open those boxes and sort and remember, keep and throw away. For as time consuming and difficult this process of sorting and taking stock might be, it is also healing and hope-filled.
Spring cleaning just might help us see where we have been and what we’ve been through and realize, may be for the first time in a long time, that we have grown. We have changed. We are not in the same place we were but further along the road. What do we really want to carry with into this next stage of the journey? How much do we need to hold on to and how much can we let go of? Where are the voices of hope and strength and nurture and are we willing to turn down or silence the voices of despair, discouragement and neglect?
Eastertide offers us the same Spring Cleaning for our faith and our souls. We hear of Jesus’ resurrection to New Life. We hear of the disciples’ growth out of fear and despair to hope and great joy – a joy that would spread throughout the entire world. We are asked to consider our Baptismal promises and to recommit ourselves to a life of prayer and worship, fellowship and hope. Faith grows and strengthens with each turning of a stone, every doubt we confront, every question we strive to answer, every road we must walk. For in each and every part of this cleaning, Jesus is there with us, inviting us to share our story and warming our hearts and the process.
“…a time to keep, and a time to throw away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.”
Godspeed for your journey,