Bread – Recognition

October 26, 2011

Readings for Wednesday, October 26, designated by the 1979 Book of Common Prayer: Ezra 6:1-22; Rev. 5:1-10; Matt. 13:10-17; Psalms 49, 53, 119:49-72


Recognition of the truth can be demonstrated in multiple subtle ways, and it can be refused in multiple subtle ways. One of the most subtle ways we can either recognize something as true or deny its truth is through our language, through our thought patterns.

We have some demonstration of that today in our readings.

In Ezra, Darius has ordered a search for Cyrus’ written order permitting the Jews to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple. The written order is found and contained in it is a subtle, but powerful recognition by Cyrus of who God is:

“In the first year of King Cyrus, the king issued a decree concerning the temple of God in Jerusalem: ‘Let the temple be rebuilt as a place to present sacrifices, and let its foundations be laid…Also, the gold and silver articles of the house of God…are to be returned to their places in the temple in Jerusalem; they are to be deposited in the house of God.’” Ezra 6:3-5 (emphasis added)

Cyrus recognizes the temple in Jerusalem to the house “of God,” not “of a God” and not “of the Hebrew God,” but “of God.” One house, one God. And this from a pagan believer. Cyrus recognizes who God is and his recognition is reflected subtly in his language. He has no need to qualify who God is because to him it is self-evident, it is true, it is understood, it is a fact. Therefore, his recognition of that truth is reflected subtly in the language he uses, in his thought patterns.

In Revelation, the elders and living creatures are worshiping the Lamb, Jesus, in the center of the throne, singing a new song. Contained within this song is this:

“You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God,…” Rev. 5:9-10 (emphasis added)

The elders and living creatures recognize that, when Christ came, He came to make us something which we could not achieve on our own, He came to make us a kingdom and priests for a purpose, and that purpose is to “serve our God.” A recognition reflected subtly in language, woven into song, but a recognition of their, and our, role nonetheless. This is a recognition of something profound, particularly to Western thought. The purpose of life in Christ is to serve “our God,” not “my God” and not myself. Not society, or other people, or family, or friends, but to serve our God. This is not the Christian witness from my perspective, but from our perspective. It is not individualistic, but community formed of individuals submitting to the same purpose, tuned to the same channel.

Do we recognize God to the same degree that Cyrus the pagan did? Do we recognize our role on earth as God’s servants, to do His will, to be obedient to His ways and decrees?

Before you answer too quickly, think about the subtle ways in which we Christians deny recognition of the truth today. Here is one. Why do we lower case the pronouns for God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in our Bibles and writings? We use lower case pronouns for ourselves with one exception, “I.” We capitalize “I” but lowercase “you, him, his” when we speak of God. Shouldn’t we be capitalizing God’s pronouns and putting ours in their rightful place? Here is another – How come so many Christian songs today begin with “I.” Is this a subtle way of denying who God is, and subtly saying that God is who “I” say he is [I deliberately lower-cased “he” although it hurt me to do so].

Check out our language and our thought patterns! Do we really recognize who God is and what He has done for us on the cross? Do we really? Does our language reflect that? Do our thought patterns reflect that? Do our lives reflect that?

By this blog, I hope to light a fire in us, a fire to change our language and the way we think, a fire to honor God and to put Him first, not because I think He is first but because He is first. Let us begin this fire subtly, by changing one thing today. Let us refer to God with capital letters in all that we do. He is not our equal. He is our King.



One Response to “Bread – Recognition”

  1. […] you ever know too much history? « Bible 101 Challenge1Bread – Recognition « Bread […]

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