Monday, January 11, 2010

Devotional 110110

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. I hope you are fully energized after a weekend of Sabbath. I enjoyed my quiet time with the Lord and fellowship time with my classmates on campus. At first I could not imagine how I would spend my weekend away from home. But it turned out to be so short when my days were so richly blessed with His presence.

The right word at the right time is like a custom-made piece of jewelry, And a wise friend’s timely reprimand is like a gold ring slipped on your finger (Proverbs 25:11-12). The gift of words is for communion. We need to learn the nature of communion. This requires the risk of revelation—letting a piece of myself be exposed, this mystery of who I am. If I stand here mute, you have no idea what is going on with me. You can look at me. Measure me, weigh me, test me, but until I start to talk you do not know what is going on inside, who I really am. If you listen and I am telling the truth, something marvelous starts to take place—a new event. Something comes into being that was not there before.

God does this for us. We learn to do it because God does it. New things happen then. Salvation comes into being; love comes into being that leads to Communion. Words used this way do not define as much as deepen mystery—entering into the ambiguities, pushing past the safely known into the risky unknown. The Christian Eucharist uses words, the simplest of words, “this is my body, this is my blood,” that plunge us into an act of revelation which staggers the imagination, which we never figure out, but we enter into. These words do lot describe, they point, they reach, they embrace. Every time I go to the ill, the dying, the lonely, it becomes obvious after a few moments that the only words that matter are words of communion.

What is distressing is to find out how infrequently they are used. Sometimes we find we are the only ones who bother using words this way on these occasions. Not the least of the trials of the sick, the lonely and the dying is the endless stream of clich├ęs and platitudes to which they have to listen. Doctors enter their rooms to communicate the diagnosis, family members to communicate their anxieties, friends to communicate the gossip of the day. Not all of them do this, of course, and not always, but the sad reality is that there is not a great deal of communion that goes on in these places with these ill and lonely and dying people, on street corners, in offices, in work places, in schools. That makes it urgent that the Christian becomes a specialist in words of communion.

Indeed, we are being conditioned by this hedonistic, egocentric and materialistic world, not to speak sincerely and openly our words of communion – our intimate relationship with God. We are conformed to believe that these words of communion are irrelevant to a highly functional and technological world. And when we talked about agape love or sacrificial love of God, people will avoid us as though we are there to “convert” them or “sell” them our religion. In order to maintain our popularity and friendship, we stay away from words of communion, and simply follow the flow to talk about superficial jokes and teasing words. Let’s pray that we first enter this communion with God daily, and become sensitive to the needs of our coworkers, so that we will communicate the words of communion to them as He inspires.

Love you out of His communion love,
Lawrence

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