Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Lent::: Water Water Everywhere

Next to air, we humans have no physical need more fundamental to us than water. Our body's water supply must be constantly replenished since it is used by so many life systems. This need is made into a dilemma by the fact that though we live on a planet that is 70% water, 97% of that water is poisonous saline.

James makes the parallel between the poisonous nature of bitter talk and the spring of pure refreshment that encouraging talk is to those we encounter. The world is FULL of the pity and pain that bitter, angry, and slanderous talk have caused. Most the conversation of our world, like it's water to the body, is poison to the soul of it's listeners. There is yapping of tounges everywhere, yet so little is an oasis safe to drink and take in deeply.
James 3:9-10 Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. 10 And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right!
I asked my oldest daughter after we read these verses what James was saying, and her exegesis of the text was that God created our mouths to praise him and when we say mean things to each other that doesn't praise him. Talk about profound truth from the simple world view of a child.

James isn't advocating some superfluous cliche filled God talk, as some people pretend between their quips of gossips. Instead James is demanding a relational alteration of our mindset. Our encounters with our coworkers, our families, our communities, even our enemies must be filtered through the fact that every word and action must be seen as worship as God.

Isaiah, uses the water parallel also to celebrate the pure refreshing nature of communion with God -
Is 55:1-2
“Is anyone thirsty?
Come and drink—
even if you have no money!
Come, take your choice of wine or milk—
it’s all free!
Why spend your money on food that does not give you strength?
Why pay for food that does you no good?
Listen to me, and you will eat what is good.
You will enjoy the finest food."
If we are to be the physical presence of Christ in the world the whole combination of the 2 verses must be a deeply personal conviction for me. My words, my actions, my choices - am I a place where people in poverty (physically, emotionally, and spiritually) can come and drink freely of the Good News of God or am I a bitter pool of poisonous saline?

I want ALL my words, conversations and thoughts to bring restoration, renewal, and regeneration. There is NO PLACE for any talk that does not encourage the beauty and humanity of the person I am talking to.

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