Happening Now!

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I was saddened to see a Christian friend so upset about police action shootings and resultant conversations that she spoke out in anger with expletives on social media toward the offenders.  I wasn’t saddened at the outburst; we are all alarmed at the unraveling of events.  It made me sad to see the extent of our grief and anger.

Our outrage at the cowardice and audacity of the perpetrators is understandable.  We hurt with the victims’ families and cringe with anger at the antics of the malefactors.  It is startling to watch these events unfold seeming to get worse day by day.  

There are however, two important things we need to be mindful of:
  1. Jesus foretold that there would be wars and rumors of wars; see that you be not troubled  [Mt 24:6]
  2. Jesus also said “Offenses must come”  [Mt. 18:7] and we may not be able to predict where they might come from. 

But know this!  Nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus who by the Holy Spirit, comforts, and constrains us from being overwhelmed so that we can continue to minister to the world rather than be trapped in anger or fear. 

This message need not be overly preachy.  We are not citizens of this world, we need not fall prey to the age-old tactics of the enemy to make us think that God has deserted us.  Take a deep breath and a step back.  Today’s news cycle will pass.  There is nothing new under the sun and Christ is seated at the right hand and we are seated in heavenly places.  

Delighted in Fatness . . .

Isaiah 55:1-2 Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. 2 Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me,  and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.

My pastor talks frequently of peoples’ collective brokenness where we (both churched and unchurched) are so fragmented that we reach to the world with our anger, pain or hunger to quench the pain of being broken.  The past week has certainly demonstrated this.  I shared with a friend how the Church is the place to find healing  and a hospital.   The default response is to reach for a past life remedy that we have previously used to appease us.  Intriguing to see how some people turn their brokenness inward as they imbibe intoxicants (or in extreme cases cut themselves to create physical pain to mask emotional pain [ or brokenness] they’re experiencing.  Others push their pain outward indulging in everything from bar room brawls to acts of reactive terrorism. [e.g.  the solo sniper in Dallas]

Through the Prophet Isaiah we are offered a way to fill our emptiness.  The offer is made to all who thirst (thirst as a metaphor for emptiness with a desire to be healed) even those without money.  Isaiah challenges to buy without money in the way that a person with a litter of kittens insists that you want the kitten before they give it to you.  This is illustrated in the way that Jesus always asked supplicants what they would have him do.  We must ask to buy the wine and milk. Wine is symbolic of joy and milk is symbolic of spiritual food.  If you are really thirsty you must seek after that which will satisfy.

The next verse is rudimentary in meaning but asks a question that is very searching in poignancy: Why do you spend money for that which is not bread? and labor for that which doesn’t satisfy?  I remember Bishop Jakes commenting about how we look for things that pacify but don’t satisfy.  A baby may want milk or frequently desire to suckle when their tummy is full. If you give a pacifier, she gets the sensation but not the nourishment.  We search for sensation instead of the stuff that will feed our souls. [Side Note:  I wrote previously on what the soul is and  how it needs feeding see ” A Heaping Portion of Soul Food”.]

I have these verses on my business card referring to the fatness.  When properly prepared, beef neck bones are considered a delicacy. The dish yields cooked bone marrow that for some is delightful.  The dish is rich and fatty leaving the consumer very satisfied.  Thus, “Phat on Fruit” refers to being satisfied through the Word as it yields Fruit [satisfaction] in our lives.  I’m sure you were wondering where the name came from . . .

grace & peace