"Clean out the old yeast so that you may be a new batch... for our Paschal lamb Christ has been sacrificed. Therefore, let us celebrate the festival not with the old yeast, the yeast of brokenness and arrogance, but with the bread which is marked by sincerity and truth."
After he got back to Cali from his month long stay with us, Alex sent a picture of something out of his refrigerator via cell phone and it was interesting as Anne and I tried to figure out what it was. The note said "Guess what this is," and I had to admit I could not fathom what it could be! Blue, green and stuck in a freezer bag. I passed on the mantle of definition to Anne who finally proclaimed "I have no idea what that is!" We texted Alex back with no answer but only the other great question, "What?!" He said, "That is my roommate's spaghetti from over a month ago!!!"
My thought is that he could probably have used it for germ warfare, but as the jokes subsided, the moment asked me to reflect upon what happens when we, as believers, stay stagnant in our faith. Paul, in dealing with the Corinthians, exhorts them to stay fresh by not dwelling with the same patterns that are destructive. The issue Paul is addressing is one in which someone is being "tolerated" even though they are continuing in ways which are harmful to themselves and others. He speaks of the bread going bad, and how the smell and the bacteria will not just make the bread useless but is actually dangerous. In removing the unhealthy, the climate for creating wholeness becomes more of a reality.
As we prepare for our shifts in congregational life over the next four weeks, I hope you will begin to think about the Lenten experience as a "casting away" of that which has become old and stale in our lives and assume new characteristics which strengthen and transform us.
I pray the season of Lent will be one of renewal of our spirits and may the Lord point us toward the way which leads to new life!
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