Bread – Fall

June 21, 2013


Readings for Friday, June 21, designated by the 1979 Book of Common Prayer: 1 Sam. 3:1-21; Acts 2:37-47; Luke 21:5-19; Psalms 888,91,92

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“And Samuel … let none of His [God’s] words fall to the ground.” 1 Sam. 3:2

When I read this today, an image entered my mind of the Lord dumping His words into our laps through Scripture, His creation, and through the Holy Spirit, like gold coins. In my imagination, we received these gold coins into our laps and then stood up, letting them all fall out onto the ground.

How many of us do this every day? We read something in Scripture which is powerful and is perhaps instructive, perhaps directing attention to flaws in our lives as Christians, perhaps lifting us up, perhaps giving us rest … and then we stand up to go into the world to deal with life, and the words of God drop to the ground in disuse, forgotten. Or maybe our pastor or one of our Christian friends or accountability partners or teachers say something of great wisdom, inspired by the Holy Spirit, and it goes in the ear, rattles around in the brain, and falls on the ground once we leave the meeting or the conversation.

Some churches require members to memorize Scripture. Others re-use Scripture in their liturgies over and over again so that a form of memorization takes place. These have as their purpose an attempt to stop us from letting God’s words fall to the ground, so that we can recall them in time of need.

But no matter what we do, there seems to be a lot of the Lord’s words which we let slip through our fingers or which we deliberately let fall to the ground.

What in a sense is worse about this is that we not only let them drop to the ground, but we leave them behind when we walk off to do “our thing.” We not only don’t treasure them, we don’t even think enough about them to carry them with us. There is nothing for the prince of this world to try to steal from us because we are not carrying anything worth stealing.

Maybe I am being harsh, but we live in the world with a citizenship in the kingdom of God. How will we know how to behave according to kingdom principles in a foreign land (the world) unless we carry these principles with us in our hearts, our brains, our thoughts, our emotions, our souls?

Whether we let God’s words fall to the ground out of neglect, inattention, or deliberately, doesn’t matter – the effect is the same. We are weakened in our Christian walk.

And we are coming into a time of testing. Just yesterday, I heard that our President said something about the existence of Catholic schools as being “divisive.” Of course, the same thing can be said about Baptist schools, Episcopal schools, Church of Christ schools, and every school which attempts to bring Christ into the world. Christ is divisive. The truth is divisive to those people who do not want to hear it.

No one can see these signs of storm clouds gathering without seeing the storm to come. Jesus said this in our reading from Luke today. Listen to His words – “Before all this [wars, tumults, terrors] they will lay their hands on you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for My name’s sake. This will be your opportunity to bear witness…You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and some of you they will put to death. You will be hated by all for my name’s sake.” Lk. 21:11-16

Now Jesus in that passage was directing His listeners to an immediate future, but like so many prophetic statements, the passage is also a pointer to the future. I think it is a pointer to us, now and in the future.

So, at the time of testing, will we fall? We might if we let God’s words fall.

How might we keep that from happening? Well, in the same passage from 1 Samuel, there is a hint because I did not give you the complete quote. Here is the complete quote: “And Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground.” 1 Sam. 3:19 Who is it that stopped God’s words from falling to the ground? God.

So what is the answer? Prayer. I need to ask God for help in keeping His words in my mind, heart, and soul. I need God to make it stick.

And how is this any different than anything else? How might we keep from falling? By the Lord’s power, not ours. Through faith in Him, not ourselves. Through His work, not ours. Through His wisdom, not ours.

Christ says as much today in Luke. In between my quotation is another sentence which reads – “Settle it therefore in your minds not to meditate beforehand how to answer, for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict.” Lk. 21:14-15.

In my power, I will always fall. In God’s power, I never will.

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© 2013 GBF

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