Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Of Manna in the Morning Dew

The devotion three weeks ago was titled "Strength for Today."  It had to do with the Fourth Petition of the Lord's Prayer, "Give us this day our daily bread," and its Old Testament parallel of the manna in the wilderness.  Here now is a little hymn to help teach the lesson.  Remember that "omer," a Hebrew word used only in Exodus 16, is a measure of about two quarts - a day's portion.

Of manna in the morning dew
Take for the day, for each of you,
An omerful, as God has said.
"Give us this day our daily bread."

Today I strength apportion you;
Tomorrow, then, a portion new;
Tonight no worry on your beds.
"Give us this day our daily bread."

Trust in your Father's heav'nly care
And learn to live the perfect prayer
Taught by the one whose blood is shed.
"Give us this day our daily bread!"

Monday, August 13, 2012

A Misunderstood Word

"Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord" (Eph. 5:22).

The misunderstood word is "submit."  Such a beautiful word, yet a beauty undiscovered.  To help matters, consider what the groom is asked at a Lutheran wedding (and I'm sure others):

"Will you nourish and cherish her as Christ loved His body, the Church, giving Himself up for her?"

I will.

Then the bride is asked:

"Will you submit to him as the Church submits to Christ?"

I will.

Now at least in my experience as a pastor, no one has ever objected to or even questioned what is asked of the groom, despite the fact he is called on to give up his life!  Makes me wonder if we're really hearing that question.  No, what meets with resistance sometimes is the use of the word "submit" in the question to the bride.

The real problem is that we're not putting the two pieces together.  They are interlocking questions.  And more romantic terms could not be found!

What the bride is really submitting to, deepest down, is the groom's love, care, and willingness to give up his life for her.  He is making a very strong statement.  And with the word "submit," she is making a correspondingly strong reply.  She is saying, "I hear you, and the answer is, 'Yes, I will be loved by you!'"

"Submit" means to "set under."  But look at how it works.  The wife sets herself under her husband who sets her life above his.  He is her "head" (Eph. 5:23), but as such he puts her needs ahead of his.

Submitting to your husband should be like flying First Class and having to submit to the treatment.

But the best analogy is this: Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for her on the cross.  He is risen!  And He lives to lead husbands in the way of loving their wives.  As the Church submits to Christ's love and loves Him greatly in response, so too the wife who is loved by her husband!

Let us hear the words of marriage less legalistically and more, much more, romantically!  They are not behind but ahead of the times.