(The Shepherd’s Echo is a reposting of a previously published TheShepherdsPen)
Is just me or has anyone else noticed that commodities at the super market are shrinking? I don’t mean the amounts that are made available overall; I mean the portions which are being sold. I mean, take for instance the coffee. What was sold as a “3 Pound” can of coffee years ago has been selling as a mere 33 ounces. And now it has been reduced to a 29 ounce size plastic container, but apparently I have gained a “Flavor lock Lid” or an “Easy Grip Handle” as though I had a problem with my can of coffee launching out of my hand and spilling all over the floor. Easy Grip? This thing is not a power tool or a repelling line- it’s a can for crying out loud. I guess they figured I would be better-off having an ironclad grip on the container and they would have an ironclad grip on my 4 ounces of coffee. Quite a trade-off, huh?
But, coffee is not the only culprit; diminished portions are pandemic. I bought a “gallon” container of milk that turned out to be 3 quarts! The revamped cereal boxes are the same size from the front but only about half as deep from front to back. There are less Oreos in the package than years ago but now the wrappers are not see-through so you can’t count ‘em as easily. Ice cream is now sold in 1.5 quarts rather than a half-gallon and candy wrappers weigh as much as the candy itself. What is up? I am wondering what they will do with eggs. Will 6 become the new dozen? What makes it even worse is that the prices if anything have risen.
Now, obviously this “slight-of–hand” is not detrimental to life itself; the worst result may be a few less desired calories, or units of satisfaction, but when it comes to the Word of God this reductionism is much more disconcerting. All around us, in churches and even our own lives, I see a lessening of the primacy of the Word of God. What I mean is that the Word of God has taken a diminished prominence in spiritual growth and the worship experience.
Historically, preaching from God’s Word has been a primary focus of God’s people when they gather together, and that model seems to be pretty well justified in Scripture. Paul’s exhortation in 2 Timothy 4:2 is to, “Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.” Nowhere more so should that be the case than in corporate worship. Psalm 19:10 says that God’s instruction is, “more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.” Ephesians 5 presents the reason for this, and that is so the Bride of Christ can be washed in the power of the Word.
Our nation is desperate for revival, but if that ever has a chance of happening again, we as God’s people need to be dedicated to, and washed in the instruction of the Word of God, and renewed in obedience in faith to the tenets of our doctrines. It is doubtful that will happen if the Word continues to be neglected from our lives, the pulpit, or if it is dolled out in trivial snippets of “greeting card” sermons and devotions.
Our commitment to the Word should not parallel the “new math” deterioration of commodities, but be ever increasing as we meditate upon and yearn for the Word.
How about it? Are you engaged in the Word? Or is the only instruction you get from one Sunday to the next? Is your church even instructing from the Word of God? Why in the world would we not be? It is the authoritative, God-breathed Word of instruction given that we might truly know God and how to walk in a manner worthy of a disciple of Christ.