Tuesday, March 15, 2011

That Time of Year!

Spring has almost sprung.  Around here it is evident in the trees that are flowering, the daffodils that are making their bright debuts, the allergies that won't go away....  Well, there is another way that I know spring is upon us.  The question posed by many of my friends, "Have you started your deleavening?".  Say what?

Deleavening is done by all of those in my church each spring.  Why?  We are commanded to.  Just who commands this and what is it?  Does it have any meaning today?  Here are just a few tidbits of info you might find interesting.

First a very simple definition of deleavening.  All products with leavening or that are leavening are removed from your properties.  This is your home, car, place of business, your office etc.  Now there are a few exceptions, toothpaste, cleaning products. pet food are a few of them.  These things are not consumed as food, so they are fine to keep.

Now. why do we do this?  In several passages you can see where leaving is likened to sin.  Sin is something we are expected by God to get out of our lives.  By physically removing leaven from our home, it helps us to visualize a spiritual concept though a physical action. 

Finally a few passages for you to consider. (all emphasis is mine)

14 And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the Lord throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.

15 Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel.
16 And in the first day there shall be an holy convocation, and in the seventh day there shall be an holy convocation to you; no manner of work shall be done in them, save that which every man must eat, that only may be done of you.
17 And ye shall observe the feast of unleavened bread; for in this selfsame day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt: therefore shall ye observe this day in your generations by an ordinance for ever.
18 In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even, ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even.
19 Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses: for whosoever eateth that which is leavened, even that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a stranger, or born in the land.
20 Ye shall eat nothing leavened; in all your habitations shall ye eat unleavened bread.
Ex 12:14-20 (KJV)

These days we don't wait and do it until the last minute.  Our home are more cluttered, we have more hectic lives, and we just like to make sure we do a thorough job.  That is why we are already talking about it and we still have four+ weeks until it actually starts.

This is obviously an Old Testament passage.  Why do we do it today?  Well, obviously it has been commanded taht we do it.  Not by Moses, but by God.  Something we are to do forever.  While the following passage does not mention the actual deleavening of the home, it does show us why we must get the spiritual leaven out of our lives.

6 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?

7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:
8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
1 Cor 5:6-8 (KJV)

I'm not going to argue laws done away with or nailed to the cross.  I'm not trying to say that because I do this and you may not, that I am a better person than you.  I do feel (hope) it makes me better than I was.  I just hope I gave you a little something to think about. 

To answer the question posed by my friends, no I haven't started yet.  April 1 is my target date to start.  By then Elijah will be finished with his 2nd grade curriculum, the garden should be mostly planted, and I can focus on that one thing.  After all, if it represents something so important, shouldn't it get a full dose of attention?  To all my friends who have started, I hope it is going well.  To those who haven't, it is still four weeks, just take it a day at a time.

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