The Origin of Spring Cleaning: Passover

13 Mar
Spring Cleaning Broom

I imagine my ancestors scurrying about with oil lamps and brooms, removing all traces of yeast from their homes in preparation for the Passover week.

Every Spring, a number of Jews and Christians observe Passover as a reminder of their ancestors’ exodus from Egypt.

In celebrating this annual holiday, one of the instructions outlined in Chapter 12 of the Book of Exodus is to rid our homes of all yeast for the duration of the week-long festival.

I consider myself an Hebraic Roots Christian, so we’ve been observing Passover Around My Home for several years now.

Each year I seek to find and get rid of all the yeast products and each year I inevitably miss something. In the freezer. The pantry. Even my son’s diaper bag.

I begin to take inventory of our food items about a month prior to Passover, in an effort to consume what we can beforehand. While clearing our home of yeast products, I’m always surprised to find yeast (also known as leavening) in products I didn’t expect to. I even discovered it in one of our favorite barbecue sauces one year!

Barbecue sauce?

The annual lesson for me is how hard it is to both find and get rid of the yeast. In Scripture, yeast symbolizes sin.

It’s hard to identify, spreads easily, is difficult to get rid of, and too often tastes delicious!

Sound familiar?

I take time during the Passover week to review my possessions, including movies, books, clothing, and even habits. This annual practice helps me identify where sin might be lurking in both my home and my heart.  I simply ask God to help me identify anything that is keeping me from walking in the full intention He has for my life.

And then I start to look.

Once I’m aware of where sin is hiding, I can choose to either continue to live with it (and the consequences), or get rid of it.

Sometimes it can be difficult for me. “Oh, but I really like that one”.  

Once an item is gone, however, it’s gone, and freedom has the opportunity to take its place.

As I search my kitchen for yeast, and search my possessions for sin, I find that it is a natural extension to look for dirt and debris in other areas of my home that are over-looked the rest of the year: windows, the top of the refrigerator – you know the drill.

This process of Spring-cleaning is a concept that I believe originates with the observance of Passover. God is the author of freedom, and there’s nothing more freeing than a clean, fresh start.

Blessing you and your family this season,

14“This is a day to remember. Each year, from generation to generation, you must celebrate it as a special festival to the Lord. This is a law for all time. 15 For seven days the bread you eat must be made without yeast. On the first day of the festival, remove every trace of yeast from your homes. Anyone who eats bread made with yeast during the seven days of the festival will be cut off from the community of Israel. 16 On the first day of the festival and again on the seventh day, all the people must observe an official day for holy assembly. No work of any kind may be done on these days except in the preparation of food.

17 “Celebrate this Festival of Unleavened Bread, for it will remind you that I brought your forces out of the land of Egypt on this very day. This festival will be a permanent law for you; celebrate this day from generation to generation. 18 The bread you eat must be made without yeast from the evening of the fourteenth day of the first month until the evening of the twenty-first day of that month. 19 During those seven days, there must be no trace of yeast in your homes. Anyone who eats anything made with yeast during this week will be cut off from the community of Israel. These regulations apply both to the foreigners living among you and to the native-born Israelites. 20 During those days you must not eat anything made with yeast. Wherever you live, eat only bread made without yeast.”  – Exodus 12:14-20 (NLT)

Looking for some spring cleaning ideas around your home? Click here to discover my Top 3 Non-Toxic Cleaners that You Can Make At Home or here to find out how to Love Your White Sink in Less Than 15 Minutes.

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