Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Bible and the Folded Napkin

The Lord has been working extra hard these days, on me. He has been convicting me to lean on Him, to read His word, to tithe consistently. In other words, like a parent counsels a child, He is telling me to straighten up and fly right. I am listening with my sinner's ears. He knows my heart.

I often think of all the many religions in this world. I think about how ALL think they have it right. But we can't all be right. Some religions, well it's easy to tell they have been sold a bill of goods. One in particular which decided to make the Bible a two volume set, when it's made very clear we are not to do that. Yet we only know what we have been taught. Some of us grow up and find out we have been deceived, but most just continue on the same road.

I think of all the different interpretations of the Bible, even within the same denomination. I ponder about those who say they are Catholic, but "not practicing." Some Baptists dance and wear make-up. Some do not. Jehovah's Witnesses say only 144,000 will go to heaven. Well, I know that isn't true. I married a man who was raised in the Seventh Day Adventist faith. I have learned they are NOT a cult - they are just as much a Christian faith as Lutherans and Methodists (at least some Methodists). See what I mean, it is all SO confusing.

I realize none of this applies to me, personally. Really, I do! I need to concentrate on my relationship with Jesus and be an example to others. Even with the Bible, the owner's manual for our lives on earth and in eternity, I find myself dazed and confused - sometimes even lost. I struggle to understand the language, the meaning, the translations. I know that is why we have pastors. But which pastor does one turn to?

In the middle of all my confusion, I found a post on the blog of a wonderful young Christian woman. It talked about how the cloth which had covered Jesus' face in his tomb was found separately from the linens he had been wrapped in. In the Gospel of John Chapter 20 Verse 7 it says: "and the face cloth which had been on His head, not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself."

The post goes on to explain that it was the custom of that day for the servant to set the table for the Master, with everything perfectly in place. The servant would watch from a concealed position for the Master to finish his meal. If the Master used the napkin and wadded it into a ball and threw it down, that meant he was finished with the meal. But if the napkin was folded neatly it meant the servant was not to touch anything, because the Master would return to the table.

That one act of Jesus, that one verse - how easy they would be to overlook. I am still confused but ya know what......I'm a lot calmer, too.

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