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Summary: Lent gives us an opportunity to do some soul scrubbing/soul polishing. Lent gives us an opportunity to reflect, reevaluate and allow the Holy Spirit an opportunity to do some spiritual transformation in our lives!

Scripture: John 2:13-22 (Call to Worship - Psalm 19:7-14)

Theme: Soul Scrubbing/Soul Polishing

Lent gives us an opportunity to do some soul scrubbing/soul polishing. Lent gives us an opportunity to reflect, reevaluate and allow the Holy Spirit an opportunity to do some spiritual transformation in our lives through soul scrubbing and soul polishing!

INTRO:

Grace and peace from God our Father and from Jesus Christ who came to take away the sin(s) of our lives! Grace and peace from God the Holy Spirit who convicts us, cleanses us and is committed to helping us reflect God's holy image in our world today!

Who remembers one of your favorite children's TV shows? Over the last 60 years or so there has been hundreds of such shows with some of them making impacting millions of people's lives. Shows like "The Howdy Doody Show", "Captain Kangaroo", "Sesame Street", "Mr. Roger's Neighborhood", "Dora the Explorer", "Reading Rainbow" and "Paw Patrol" to name a few. You could also add some like "The Tom and Jerry Show", "Rocky and Bullwinkle", the "Smurfs" and the "Rug Rats".

Katherine, our youngest daughter loved a show that was made in Canada that starred a clown named Loonette and her little doll Molly. It was called THE BIG COMFY COUCH. Every show Loonette, Molly and some other friends would solve everyday problems on this Big Comfy Couch. At the end of each show Loonette would sing this little song called, "Ten Second Tidy" in which she would speed around the couch putting all her toys up and tidying up the room.

"Ten Second Tidy" became a hit in our home for a quite a few years. Every time we would try to teach Katherine how to clean up her toys and her room we would refer to Loonette, Molly and "Ten Second Tidy".

It would be nice if it were possible to tidy up our homes, our offices and our lives in a matter of ten seconds or so. Our passage this morning is a cleaning up passage. It's a scrub and polish passage.

Our writer tells us that it is the season of Passover. You may remember that Passover was that time of the year that the Jewish people would celebrate their freedom. They would remember the time when God rescued them from a life of slavery, bondage and poverty at the hands of the Egyptians. It was a time they remembered that God had rescued them from a life of slavery and had help them to become a people of freedom in the Promise Land.

Passover was therefore a time of Remembering, Rejoicing and Reflection:

+It was a time when the Israelites celebrated God's Most Wonderful Gift to them - His Living Word - The TORAH.

+It was a time for them to celebrate regardless of their present circumstances the fact that they were still a free people - free in body, mind and soul.

+It was the time for them to completely realize that their God was the Good God of Creation and would protect them, provide for them and lead them to experience a life of progressive holiness if they would only listen and obey.

It was also a time for them to do some cleaning. In Exodus 12:15 the LORD God had told the Israelites to remove all the leaven from their homes before that first Passover evening. Over the years this commandment of God had become an integral part of preparing one's home and heart for Passover. In order to be "kosher" for Passover one's home had to be thoroughly cleaned up from top to bottom. One also had to do a bit of soul scrubbing and soul polishing as well.

So, as we read John's story about Jesus this morning it was during the time when people would be normally be cleaning up their homes and their lives. They would be doing their best to get rid of any type of physical or spiritual leaven that would be considered unclean or unholy. They were to use this time to wisely to prepare themselves to fully celebrate Passover.

And as we read this is exactly what Jesus is doing. Jesus is cleaning up His Father's House. In Luke chapter two we have the story of Mary and Joseph trying to find Jesus after they had lost him. In a panic they searched all over the city of Jerusalem. Finally, they found their little boy sitting among the scribes and teachers in the Temple. Remember what Jesus said to them? It is recorded in Luke 2:49 - "And Jesus said to them, 'Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?"

You see, God's Temple was more than a building for Jesus. The Temple was suppose to be more than a building of commerce for the Israelites. The Temple was to be more than a center for learning. The Temple was to be more than a place one was to bring their offering or sacrifice. The Temple was to be God's House here on Earth. It was to be a place where the Kingdom of Heaven intersected with the Kingdom of Earth. The Temple was to be a very special and sacred space designed for both man and God to enjoy fellowship. The Temple was to be a place where God and man could be intimate with one another.

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