e martë, 10 korrik 2007

James 3:1-12 (cont.)

Passage: My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. Indeed, we put bits in horses' mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles. And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.

Journal: We are born to stumble, natural in our lack of coordination. To "stumble" is to sin against the character of God as revealed in His word. There is no hope here; no prospect of becoming that "perfect man," able to "bridle the whole body." The picture is of a blind man traveling downward on a steep and rocky path. It is pitch black, and he is unable to walk without stumbling. Only Christ, who traveled in the light of His perfection, was able to traverse the path of life without stumbling. It wasn't that there were no stones jutting out or hidden holes along the way, for the obstacles in His path were greater than any we will ever know. It wasn't that angels lifted Him up and placed Him down on ground with sure footing, for He was exposed to the elements as much as any man. It wasn't that He was stationary or stranded and not fixated on the challenge of the journey, for He began the journey before time commenced and doggedly pursued His destination of redemption. He was the perfect man because He was the perfect man. The man was the personified revelation of His perfection. While there is no prospect of becoming that "perfect man," that is still our pursuit along that arduous yet joyful path. For we, as children of God, do not walk in pitch blackness. For we, as children of God, are no longer blind. For we, as children of God, are no longer entangled with the masses nor walk alone. We walk with the man of perfection. We walk to be like Him, to become as He was and is and will always be. No, we will never reach that perfection, but we strive for that perfection to honor and glorify His holiness. This is our great sanctification. This is our light down a dark and rocky path; a path that turned upward, toward the heavens, when He awakened our souls.

Heard ‘Round the House:
Vera (age 8, with down syndrome) is always angling to sleep with mommy and daddy. Being the strict parents we are, we don’t allow it; besides, Ella (age 2, down syndrome) is already sleeping with us – ok, forget the strict part). She approaches me in the closet with a bit of a strategy –
Vera: Sleep by you?
Daddy: (I like to let her know I can understand her when I am able to correctly translate “Veranese”): Sleep by me?
Vera: Yea.
Daddy: Yea?
Vera: Yes sir!
Vera (rounding the corner where mommy is and where I can still hear her): Mommy, Daddy said yes.
Mommy: Daddy said yes to what?
Vera: Sleep by me.
Mommy: He did?
Vera: Yes. Daddy said sleep by me.
(I now am walking through their area.)
Mommy: You said Vera could sleep with us?
Vera: Say yes, Daddy.
Daddy: I never said yes.
Vera: See, Mommy. Daddy said yes.

Postscript: Being the strict parents we are, Vera slept by me (us).