The Silver Basket of Silence

There once was a very holy pastor in the 4th century A.D. (After Christ) who, like many men, was named after St. John the evangelist.  He was the most famous preacher in his day in the ancient city of Constantinople, now Antioch in Turkey.  So extraordinary was he in sharing God’s Word that he was given the name “Golden-Mouthed…in Greek, “Chrysostom.”  

    Imagine having your whole life summed up by that phrase!  It meant that when he opened his mouth, every word was pure gold; that’s how much people valued what he had to say.

     Today’s chapter from Proverbs has a verse that you’ll want to meditate on, for the idea of the verse is very much like the nickname given to 4th century John.   In order for our words to be like gold, they need to sit in the silver basket of silence for awhile, so that when we talk, we only say what the Holy Spirit prompts us to say from the silence…and not just because our mouth is pushed like a button on a machine! 

Proverbs 25

These Firestarters are from a new edition of The Bible Through the Seasons being developed for families with children. For the Firestarters in the original edition, I recommend the ebook.  You will have the entire program of well over a thousand of these introductions with you on your phone or table!.  Click here to visit the website for more information.

Brand New

I will give you a new heart with new and right desires,
and I will put a new spirit in you.
I will take out your stony heart of sin
and give you a new, obedient heart. 36:26

Often products are marketed to the public with the sign on it: “Brand New.” It’s figured that the public tires of old things, and wants something new to grab their attention—from a new kind of mop, to new ingredient in a cereal to make us feel like it’s a new food.

These attempts at newness are really just slight changes of old things.  But the kinds of changes Ezekiel is promising will take place, are REALLY NEW.  Just as the Gospel reading of yesterday when we felt the newness of receiving the Holy Spirit, Ezekiel is prophesying in a similar way.  The Spirit, the dead bones coming alive again—all of these reach towards the Holy Spirit of Jesus for the fulfillment of these promises. 

    Products we must purchase. The new “product” of salvation was purchased by the blood of Jesus.  It’s brand new for us and doesn’t cost anything…but is so valuable, because it cost Jesus everything!

Ezekiel 36:24—37:14

These Firestarters are from a new edition of The Bible Through the Seasons being developed for families with children. For the Firestarters in the original edition, I recommend the ebook.  You will have the entire program of well over a thousand of these introductions with you on your phone or table!.  Click here to visit the website for more information.

The Breath of Peace

It was still the first day of the week. That evening, while the disciples were behind closed doors because they were afraid of the Jewish authorities, Jesus came and stood among them.
He said, “Peace be with you.” John 20:19

“How was your week?”  This is greeting is so often used when friends see each other.  Measuring our weeks has become very basic;  for us, it begins on Sunday.

But for St. John in his Gospel, this first day of the week is unlike any other.  It is the day of Jesus’s  Resurrection when everything about this week and all coming weeks is going to be different. In fact, for St. John, it’s a new creation.

Imagine being part of a week like this one! That’s what the first disciples experienced.  That’s why there is a garden,  a new Adam and a new Eve in the morning; and in the evening, St. John has us feel the breath of peace and the giving of the Holy Spirit. It is like the story of the creation of Adam when God took up the clay of the earth, made a nose out of it, breathed into it and Adam was created.  Jesus’s breath over those disciples—and over each one of us—makes a new creation in God’s Holy Spirit.  

So let it happen way inside you.  You are a new creature.  This is a new way of living!

John 20:19-31

These Firestarters are from a new edition of The Bible Through the Seasons being developed for families with children. For the Firestarters in the original edition, I recommend the ebook.  You will have the entire program of well over a thousand of these introductions with you on your phone or table!.  Click here to visit the website for more information.