January 3, 2022

So clean house! Make a clean sweep of malice and pretense, envy, and hurtful talk. You’ve had a taste of God. Now, like infants at the breast, drink deep of God’s pure kindness. Then you’ll grow up mature and whole in God. 1 Peter 2:1-3 The Message

I usually put away the Christmas decorations on New Year’s Day, but this year I put everything away on December 27, in anticipation of a busy week. It is never a fun task. No matter how hard I try, I can never find all the right boxes for the fragile ornaments. The boxed decorations seem to take up more room in the big plastic tub, even though I haven’t added to the collection. The artificial tree, which has seen better days loses more needles every year and yet never goes neatly back in the box. Inevitably, an ornament hook finds its way into the carpet, waiting to be stepped on by bare feet. Without fail, I discover a wayward ornament once everything has been stowed away in the basement.

Without the decorations, the living room, the windows facing the street, and the front porch look bare. But I must confess that I like the open, clean space. After the rush of the Christmas season, my mind, soul, and body have slowed down, and for the first time in weeks, I feel strangely calm and rested.

1 Peter 2 implores us to “clean house, make a clean sweep of malice and pretense, envy and hurtful talk.” The calm and rest in my inner self happens when I get rid of the clutter, the things that distract me from God.

No doubt I’ll step on some malice or envy or hurtful talk that I overlooked. I may discover pretense that I need to put away. If I am attentive, I can simply put those things away and get on with my journey toward wholeness in God that I’ve only begun to taste. That’s a good way to begin again.  

Make a clean sweep ~ Anne

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