A year ago we were experiencing our last normal weekend and we didn’t realize it.

That is the thought I could not push from my head this morning as I sat in the back of our empty sanctuary, listening to our Pastor preach on John 2 13-22 – the passage where Jesus cleanses the Temple, pouring out the coins of the money-changers and throwing over their tables.

Bet they didn’t see that coming.

This morning’s message was titled “A Clean Sweep”, and it got me thinking about how we never see a true clean sweep coming. This is the time of year when people start to open their windows and try to rid the house of the extra weight of winter; we get rid of the things we have outgrown physically and emotionally and do it all in the name of “spring cleaning” – a fabulous thing to do.

There has certainly been a lot of literal cleaning over the last year, so says how infrequently I can buy antibacterial wipes at Costco these days.

But what about the cleanses we don’t have any control over? What about the things that come through suddenly and bring us to our knees, giving us no time to pick and choose what we hold on to?

We don’t usually think of those things as cleaning. We think of them as disasters and they almost certainly are.

But it is an interesting thought to explore, maybe. Because life is nothing if not cyclical, with endings and beginnings often pushed up so tight against each other it can be hard to tell them apart.

It is easy to miss the beginning when you are in the throws of mourning the end, but if you look closely you just might recognize it.

Something that is clean isn’t barren, even though they may look the same from a distance. Something that is clean is full of opportunity for an intentional regrowth. Something that is clean is at the beginning; ready to start again.

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