New Testament Christians lived “the Way” (Acts 9:2).
If we are, what would we be doing in the next few weeks ahead?
Examine ourselves—While Christians examine themselves all year round, the main time to do this is in the weeks before the spring Holy Days. We do this, preferably accompanied by some fasting, to evaluate whether we are “in the faith” (2 Cor. 13:5) and ready to “eat of the bread and drink of the cup” (1 Cor. 11:28).
This is not a fearsome act. Christians rejoice that the Father is working with us as sons and daughters and preparing us for future service beyond anything eye has seen or ear heard. The spring Holy Days begin God’s revelation of how He will accomplish this.
Happy New Year—God says the first day of the new year for 2017 is Tuesday, March 28 (Ex. 12:2). That’s good enough for me. On God’s calendar it’s Nisan 1. And I’m guessing March 28 is going to be a glorious day to enjoy the ride!
Instead of the dead of winter, creation is springing to action and ready to party! It’s an atmosphere of greening and growing. Though this day is not a holy day, it means the glorious spring Holy Days are only two weeks away! And this 66-year-old is happy we don’t have to stay up until midnight because God’s days begin at sunset.
“I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year: ‘Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.’ And he replied: ‘Go into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way’”—Minnie Louise Haskins, broadcast by King George VI in 1939 at the beginning of World War II.
Spring Cleaning—Many think we do this because our homes have gotten so dusty and unkempt while being holed up all winter. Funny, that rationale never motivated me to clean in the summer, fall and winter!
Most sources trace spring cleaning back to the “Jews removing leaven from their homes for the Passover.” Actually, this was the 12 tribes of Israel of which Judah was only one tribe. The people in Exodus 12 were all Israel and they removed the leaven for a “feast by an everlasting ordinance,” which we as spiritual Israel (Gal. 6:16) continue to do.
Some theorize spring cleaning dates back to the Iranian Norouz, the Persian new year, which falls on the first day of spring. Iranians practice “khooneh tekouni” which literally means “shaking the house.”
This Iranian connection may be significant because historians know many Israelites dispersed through Parthia. When you read about Parthia, you are reading about some lost tribes of Israel. That’s why nobody teaches anything about Parthia because the general rule is that truth gets suppressed and somebody wants the lost to stay that way. The Parthian Empire (247 BC – 224 AD) was a major Iranian political and cultural power in ancient Iran.
So it’s spring and soon I’ll be cleaning out drawers, vacuuming out the car, and steam cleaning floors. But I’m not spring cleaning. I’m removing leaven, representing sin, and need to finish by sundown Monday, April 10 when the First Day of Unleavened Bread starts. Removing the physical teaches insightful lessons about removing the spiritual that we find as we examine ourselves.
Paul taught “let us keep the Feast” (1 Cor. 5:7-8). He seems to have written this letter—to Gentile Christians—near the time of Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread. He said the Corinthians were physically unleavened, but he corrected them about many problems caused by divisions and tolerating sin. We can be truly unleavened—with crumbs out but, more importantly, with sin forgiven at Passover and Christ the Bread of Life creating new men and women of “sincerity and truth” out of us.
Most people won’t learn about doing these special ways until after Christ returns to this earth and His ways cover the earth. If the Master Timer has called you to be one of the “few who find” the way ahead (Matt. 7:14), thank Him by responding to so great an opportunity and a responsibility.