DayBreaks for 2/10/17: A Fresh Grave, A Fresh Garden

DayBreaks for 2/20/17: A Fresh Grave, A Fresh Garden

From the blog of Doug Dalrymple, 2/07/07:

Why should you be surprised that the human race’s wickedness can hinder the fertility of the earth? For our sake the earth was subject to corruption, and for our sake it will be free of it. It exists solely for us, to serve us. Its being like this or like that has its root in this destiny… What happens to the world happens to it for the sake of the dignity of the human race. – John Chrysostom

If the current occupant of the throne in the Phanar has earned for himself the title of “Green Patriarch,” perhaps he’s simply following in the steps of his sainted predecessor. Perhaps. But Chrysostom’s is a different sort of environmentalism, isn’t it?
God is the true life of man. St John suggests that man is, in turn, the life of the created order. It depends upon us. It follows us into exile like a devoted slave, rejoicing in our honor, glorying in our beauty, weeping in our sorrow, dying in our death.
The created order is a mirror of man. Eden has fallen because Adam has fallen. When we look upon the world we behold our own conflicted reflection: an image of God, full of dignity and glory, obscured through sin, fallen into decay and dissolution, a field of conflict, a fresh grave, but sprouting with flowers.
“What happens to the world happens to it for the sake of the dignity of the human race.” This sounds absurd to us. But I wonder: if Adam wept when he left the Garden, perhaps his tears were due in part to a transformation -difficult for us to conceive but utterly apparent to him- which he had wrought upon creation through his disobedience, the abdication of his calling to “tend and keep.”
“…[F]or our sake it will be free…” Scripture teaches us that all things in heaven and on earth will be brought together and transformed in the God-Man, Jesus Christ. The whole creation, we read, groans under the burden of our fallenness, in anticipation of the revelation of the Sons of God, which is mankind resurrected, made fully alive, a royal priesthood, a new creation in Christ.
Eden was a seed entrusted to a child; heaven is the full-grown garden promised to the man.

PRAYER: Lord, in our fall we have marred your world, and mar it still.  Forgive us.  We long for the full-grown garden.  Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2017 by Galen Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 5/15/15 – Continuing to Water the Garden

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DayBreaks for 5/15/15: Continuing to Water the Garden

From the DayBreaks archive, 2005:

I suppose it is human nature to want to know when things we look forward to (or dread) will happen.  For the person on death row, it’s called a death watch – once the dreaded date has been set and the sand runs through the hourglass.  To the expectant mother, the feeling is one of anticipation and excitement.  To the teen, it’s turning 16 and being able to drive a car.  “Anticipation,” Carly Simon sang, “is making me wait.”

The disciples naturally were curious about the timing of things Jesus spoke about.  Especially when it came to apocalyptic types of things.  They wanted to know because, well, inquiring minds want to know!  They may have figured that it might help them be better prepared if they knew.  And therein is the rub, is it not?  What does that imply?  That if they knew, they could put on a last-ditch effort at holiness and preparedness to be as sure as they could that they were ready.

Jesus would have none of it.  He dismissed their questions as foolish speculation, and said that he didn’t know the answer either.  Humanly speaking, I can see where it might be advantageous to know the exact date and time.  I can guarantee that many would try to “clean up” their act the day before.  But God’s wisdom works so much differently than ours.  Jesus tried to redirect his followers interest from the date/time of when it would happen, to the question of readiness.  God seems to say that it’s wise to NOT know – because that should encourage us to be ready at any and all times.

A Hasidic rabbi who was interrupted by one of his followers while he was tending his garden, was asked: “What would you do, rabbi, if you knew the Messiah was coming today?”  Stroking his beard and pursing his lips, the rabbi replied, “Well, I would continue to water my garden.”

God has placed each of us in the middle of a garden of souls, our own included.  Our job is to tend the garden, not worry about when the landowner will return.  Tend to your own soul and your readiness for that day.  Tend to your friends and neighbors and family’s soul.  Help them be ready. 

May we all live in such a way that if we DID know He was returning today, that’d we’d continue on as if nothing special would happen this day. 

Matt 24:3 – As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. ‘Tell us,’ they said, ‘when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?

1 John 2:28 – And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.

Copyright by 2005 Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

PRAYER: Jesus, we need you to give us the gift of discerning how we should live and not to entertain ourselves with irrelevant questions! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 12/05/13 – In the Garden of Crushing

DayBreaks for 12/05/13 – In the Garden of Crushing

Luke 22:41 (NLT)  He walked away, about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed…

A number of years ago a couple traveled to the offices of an Adoption Society in England to receive a baby. They had been on the waiting list a long time. They had been interviewed and their lives carefully examined. Now, on this day, at last their dreams were to be fulfilled. But their day of happiness was the day of another’s pain.

Arriving at the offices of the Society they were led up the stairs to a waiting room. After a few minutes they heard someone else climbing the stairs. It was the young student mother whose baby was to be adopted. She was met by the lady responsible for the adoption arrangements and taken into another room. Our friends heard a muffled conversation and a few minutes later footsteps on the stairs as the young mother left. They heard her convulsive sobbing until the front door of the office was closed. Then, there was silence.

The lady in charge then called them next door. In a little crib was a six week old baby boy. On a chair beside it was a brown paper bag containing a change of clothes and two letters. One of these, addressed to the new parents, thanked them for providing a home for her baby and acknowledged that under the terms of the adoption each would never know the other’s identity. Then the young mother added one request. Would they allow her little son to read the other letter on his eighteenth birthday? She assured them that she had not included any information about her identity. The couple entrusted that letter to a lawyer and on his eighteenth birthday the young man will read the message which his mother wrote on the day, when with breaking heart, she parted with him.

I wonder what she wrote? What would I write? If I had to condense all I feel about life and love into a few words what would I say? I would have no time for trivia. I would not be concerned about economics, politics, the weather, the size of house or the type of car. At such a time I would want to dwell on the profundities, on what life was all about and what things were absolutely essential.

I know that Jesus was fully aware of God’s plan because He helped create it.  He was not an unwilling or unwitting participant.  He parted from his Father…and thirty-some years later he would return. I wonder what God said to Jesus when he prayed in the garden, what words did they exchange? I don’t know, but I would suspect that there was more to it than just asking for the cup to be taken away. I suspect that there were words of comfort, encouragement, and deep, deep love passed between them as Jesus knelt in the dust and in his robe of flesh trembled at the specter he faced.

Words are precious because the people they are direct towards are precious.

The woman in the story will never meet her son again. It is a tragic tale, but also was a blessing for the adoptive parents.  Somehow, love always finds a way to win…even through great pain, and even in the garden of crushing.

PRAYER: Jesus, how I wonder what you and the Father spoke of in the garden. Thank you that His and Your pain was turned into blessing for us, by love.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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