Shortly after Christmas, the rubber gloves came out. It was time for the obligatory fridge cleansing. Ham hock going went into the pea and ham soup, zesty Christmas salad dressing found a new home down the sink.
I started off just clearing out the rubbish. Sour cream? Out of date. Aioli? Open for too long. Avocado? Just a little too brown. But it ended at the smallest rubber mat being scrubbed to new life with not a memory of its duck fat coating. Every Tupperware container was emptied, washed, dried and returned. Every shelf was taken out and cleaned. It was like brand new.
I don’t love cleaning fridges, but I do love that accomplished sense of sparkling, new, clean-again that comes from embarking in that kind of activity. Perhaps you know it from cleaning the oven, or tidying and reordering your wardrobe.
The thing that I mostly loved this time though was the reminder of how the Christ; our Jesus, our Friend and Saviour, has cleaned us out. By His blood, He has taken out every Tupperware container and draw, He has removed every duck fat blemish, every raspberry stain, every last custard drop.
The best thing with Jesus though, is that he gives our fridge a transplant. We get brand new shelves and draws, egg holders and containers. He has given us a new heart.
“And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the old skins would burst from the pressure, spilling the wine and ruining the skins. New wine is stored in new wineskins so that both are preserved.”
When we receive Christ into our lives, we are made new.
If new wine was put into old wine bottles, the bottles would break and the new wine would run out. In this same way, Jesus couldn’t just clean out our shelves and put them back in again, He had to give us a brand new heart. One that is perfectly acceptable to the Father. One that is fit for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
We can be joyful, knowing that:
‘This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!’
Christmas has been and gone. The old has passed and the new has come, and in that newness there is life everlasting and hope of things to come.
Sure, even with our new heart we still have to deal with our old ways, but with His help, we can do that. With each other’s help, we can do that. That is called ‘restocking the fridge.’ This year, I pray that your fridge would be stocked with fresh fruit and vegetables, plenty of encouraging words and life-building moments in His presence.
‘Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.’
As we restock in 2017, ‘fix your attention on God. You will be changed from the inside out.’ (Romans 12:2)
And a little bit of chocolate in the fridge couldn’t hurt either!