Take Out The Trash

I’ve been reading through the Bible for the past few months, and I am always amazed by the majesty and the preciseness of our God.  The past two days, since the beginning of Holy Week, a persistence phrase keeps coming up – “Take out the Trash.”  It arose quite strongly yesterday during my meditation time, and again today while reading through the book of Numbers.  Now I know for some the OT can be a little confusing especially in Numbers and Leviticus, but this is where you see the majesty and precision of God.  Those wonderful details, if taken slowly and with reverence, can yield a mountain of revelation about our God.  What does this have to do with Take out the Trash?  Well in Numbers Chapter 4:1-49, God gives specific instructions to Moses and Aaron the priest on how to dissemble the Tabernacle, and whose is responsible for this enormous task.  There is a registration of men from the priestly tribe of Levi, those between the age of 30-50 years old who must prepare each sacred item for transporting during their wilderness journey. Meticulous planning and arrangements, even down to where these men are stationed within the camp were given by God to Moses and Aaron. Simply amazing.  And as I read this and reflected on the fact that this is Holy Week, I thought about how careless we’ve become during this sacred time leading up to Resurrection Sunday.  We go through the day not stopping to carefully arranged “sacred moments” for God, nor for ourselves.  Our Jewish brethren have begun Passover, where all “regular” activity has stopped, and story of the Exodus is told in great detail. This festival, commanded by God is a time of remembrance of about who they are and where they came from. It is shared, particularly with the young so they will know and understand their legacy and history, but more importantly how God brought them up out of bondage to freedom. There are preparations which included the purging and removal all food items containing “leaven” from their homes.  The house is cleared, and the “sacred” is highlighted, so mind and hearts can express appreciation to God for His gifts and blessings.

We, on the over hand spend nights watching “Scandal” or “Criminal Minds” filling our hearts and spirits with images designed to clog us with debris, and trash which robs us from experiencing God’s fullness.  The “sacred” is overshadowed by the fields of brokenness, pain, suffering, worry, pride, violence, envy, shame, guilt and the sin that so easily besets us.  Paul under the anointing of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 3:16-17 NLT), stated “Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you? God will destroy anyone who destroys this temple. For God’s temple is holy, and YOU are that temple.”  We failed to recognize who we are and where we came from.  This important announcement is highlighted God’s word.  We, who profess the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior have a duty; a sacred responsibility to maintain this temple(us) for God’s work.  It can’t and should not be littered with trash of this world.   He built us for greatness.  He created us in His image.  We are His workmen destined to show forth His majesty, dominion, power and love to the world.

Shouldn’t we consider how carefully we are approaching this sacred time?  Are we preparing our hearts and minds for His return?  Will Resurrection Sunday be just another date on the calendar, or will we show the world, by our example that we have taken out the trash?

Yes, there is much trash that needs to be removed, not just during Holy Week, but each and every day.  We must with intent and love, remove the build up of trash that has plugged, plagued and prevented our Holy Temples from being beacons of life, light and hope.  trash people 08

 

 

 

We need to stop feeding on the “dead carcasses” of the world, and prepare our Temples to transportation.  I guess that’s why the message of taking out the trash has been so pressing.  We all need to clear the way for Christ’s return, and prepare ourselves for his rightful position on the throne of our earthly temples.  Ready to take out the trash?  I hope so.  Let’s consider ways to consecrate this week to Him, and make His light shine.

Maundy Thursday

Last Supper

There is nothing like sitting down to a good meal of your favorite foods. The smells and aromas stimulate the senses, and we feel warmth, and comfort. Comfort food is said to nourish the souls as well as the body. But picture the final meal Jesus had with his disciples. A meal that was really in two parts. First the Passover which Jesus said he eagerly desired to eat with them (Luke 22:14-15). The meal was called the Passover because it represented the night when God miraculously delivered the Israelites from Egyptian bondage, and they began their journey from slavery to freedom.
It consists of
•A hard-boiled egg to remind the people of the brutality of the Egyptians and how with every tyrannical phase, the Jews only got stronger. Anything kept in boiling water will melt. On the contrary, eggs harden. It also symbolized the concept of a new lease of life.
•A variety of greens – Green is the color of hope and everything related to spring. This usually consisted of parsley sprigs and celery.
•A roasted shank bone of lamb – The lamb is a grim reminder of the number of lives lost and the blood shed for saving the lives of the others.
•Bitter greens and herbs – This is essential on the Seder (Passover) plate as it constantly reminds the Jews of their ill-treatment and misfortunes in the land of bondage. Horseradish is commonly kept on the plate for this segment. The greens would then be dipped in salt water and consumed.
•Matzah – The unleavened bread tells the grappling tale of the exodus of the Jews from Egypt. Its shows that they left in such haste that they didn’t even wait for the bread to rise.
•Salt water – is an essential component on the Seder plate, which reminded the Jews of the number of tears wasted and shed over agony and loss of lives.
•Haroset – This consists of nuts, apple, and a wine mixture that bears resemblance to straw. This reminds the Jews of the materials and the mortar used to build the Treasure cities for the Pharaoh. The only thing that kept them going through all the cruelty was a bleak line of hope that they would be ‘delivered’ to the Promised Land. http://www.happypassover.net/meal.html

In the midst of the meal, Jesus broke the news of his betrayal, and impending death. Sandwiched between the acknowledgement of God’s grace and mercy in delivering Israel from 400 years of bondage Christ shares “the dessert” of the meal the new covenant. The dessert is a commandment “to do this in remembrance of me.” Dessert is supposed to be tasty and sweet. It is meant to finish or complement the main portion of the meal. It signals the meal is over, and you can take a moment to savor the entire meal. This “dessert” was different, or was it? It was delivered at then end of the disciples’ meal. They had begun to question Christ about where He was going, and made declarations of loyalty. A good meal can led some to boast about themselves. The disciples were no exception. Surely, after being with the Master for three years, one of them was the greatest next to the Christ. They had seen the miracles, and experienced a level of prominence because of their association with him. But this dessert signified a change in the order of life. It paved the way for transformation, new revelation, and filled the gaps left by old traditions, and religious rituals. This dessert (the new covenant of in his blood) was the icing on the meal. Nothing would ever be the same.
Truly, no other meal prepared since then has been so filling; so complete. The disciples experienced a complete meal lavishly prepared by the Master with divine love, and topped off with majesty, power, forgiveness, and humility. In that one meal the keys to the kingdom were given. Romans 14:17, states “For the kingdom of God is not meat or drink; but righteousness, and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.”

This is Holy Week. Maundy Thursday begins for Christians three days of recognition and honoring the sacrificial love offering of Christ. The Thursday before his death, Christ washed the feet of his disciples, shared a last meal, and gave them the new covenant. This is a Holy Day for believers. So go to the table, and eat the meal prepared for us before the foundation of the world. Taste and see that the Lord is good. Enjoy and give thanks for both parts of the meal. Bon Appetit’