Aloha Friday Message – November 19, 2010

1047AFC111910 – Honey from The Rock

Happy Aloha Friday, Beloved. I’m running a bit slower this week, and I’ll attribute that to age. You probably recall that E-Mail that circulates around the Internet often and has the line in it “I’ve learned … Life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer you get to the end, the faster it goes.”

Well, I don’t know if life is actually going faster; I think I’m just going slower, and s-l-o-w-er. Eventually, thank God, this Old Mule of mine will stop, but like Professor Binns in Harry Potter’s story, I probably won’t notice.

Today I am doing something that many (most? all?) old people do: I am reminiscing. I was thinking about something we had on the kitchen table when we were kids – can you imagine 6 kids and 2 adults all gathered around a small kitchen dinette set? – and it was something I tried to incorporate into the family life Crucita and I shared with our kids. It was called “Our Daily Bread.” The mental image I have is a little fuzzy, but it was shaped like a little loaf of bread. The shape had a little box set into it, and in the box were “hundreds of” little cardboard cards of all sorts of colors; on each card was a Bible verse (many of which were also “Memory Verses”). Every night during dinner someone was selected to choose and read the bible verse. I had to spend a while looking for it, you might remember it if you saw it.

I’m pretty sure the one we had in our table with Tim and Cherie was the same sort of thing, but it was in the shape of an elongated boulder and called “Honey in The Rock.” Maybe. Anyway, that’s what I think I can remember. Sort of. Doesn’t matter. Let’s stick with Honey in The Rock. There are several bible passages that use that phrase. I think the most important one (because it is the first mention in scripture) is in The Song of Moses found in Deuteronomy 32:

Deuteronomy 32:13-14
13. He made him ride on the heights of the land and fed him with the fruit of the fields. He nourished him with honey from the rock, and with oil from the flinty crag, 14. with curds and milk from herd and flock and with fattened lambs and goats, with choice rams of Bashan and the finest kernels of wheat. You drank the foaming blood of the grape.

“He,” in this remarkable poem, is the nation Israel. In the poem, attributed to Moses, the author describes Israel’s future disloyalty, disillusionment, disaster, dissembling, and destruction. God reiterates his promise that all will be well – everything will be “heavenly” – if only Israel will obey God and be a light to the nations. But God affirms he knows they will not live up to that potential, and promises that after they have completely hit bottom and are impoverished and imprisoned, he will embrace them still and provide them with riches and temporal glory beyond anything they can imagine.

The same image is taken up by David in Psalm 81:16 “But you would be fed with the finest of wheat; with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”

The promise made is similar to what we saw in the Song of Moses: Listen to me, follow my Law, and you will have a luxurious life while those who oppose Israel would be quashed by God.

Now, whether it was/is The Bread of Life or Honey in The Rock, the important things were those little colored cards and the Bible verses on them. The Word of God is The Bread of Life (John 6:35). This is one of the I AM verses. Verse 51 is another one (There’s a pretty good list of the here: Honey was a popular and important food in the daily lives of Israel and the surrounding countries. Bees were abundant then (and in many places still are) and honeycombs were found in hollow trees and logs, in rooftops and walls. In caves, and even in fissures (clefts) of rocks. The sweetness and life-sustaining quality of honey coming from the inanimate but strong and powerful rock is a simile for the sweet richness we can find in Our Rock and Our Salvation – The LORD. Jesus is The Word and God is The Rock. In either case, the Blessings we receive by going to them are there for us to enjoy and use; they are gifts from God that sustain our lives. That’s his sweet plan. That’s how he rolls. (OK, those were pretty bad puns, Mr. T!)

So, here I am getting older and older faster and faster and remembering less and less. Tomorrow I am going to be 64, and I think one thing that makes me so easily tired is that I have carried around so much junk for so many years. For example, I have carried around a set of The Harvard Classics (yagotta check it out! for decades promising myself that I would have time to read all those great classics “when I am older – maybe retired.” Bad idea. I can’t even read 10 pages before my eyes start watering and my hands go numb! Next thing you know, the book is laying face down on my spare tire, and I’m out like a light. There is one book, however, one classic that does not affect me quite as much as those other classics.

When I am feasting on The Word, I find it easier to pay attention longer. When I savor the sweetness of Honey in The Rock, I am energized. Unlike the Queen in the Parlour, I am eating bread and honey in the Chapel – the quiet place in my heart and mind where I can always go without ever being alone because Jesus is there with me serving up Bread and Honey.

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever — at your service, Beloved

News of JC: Feeling about 80% better, still facing more surgery – a craniotomy temple-to-temple so they can get at the remnant of the tumor. It will be an ordeal for her and her family. Pray that it will end this tumor forever.

FO: Still waiting for word from her on how things are going. We are praying for successful management of that cancer.

Haiti: Please look for Diane Pierce on Facebook if you use it and link to her page. Snippets of the ongoing tragedy there surface occasionally on the evening news, but the view from ground-level through Diane’s posts give us a more realistic assessment of the tragedy there.

CD: Had hopes raised when interviewed for a job closer to home, but another person was chosen. We continue to pray this wonderful family can be reunited.

DN: Caring for her mom is exhausting. Pray that she can find some respite once in a while to help her reenergize.

RS: Strength and confidence to deal with many changes coming quickly.

TO: Renewed faith and return to Christ through conversion, and great success in new ventures.

MC: Pray for the children in this family. Their parents’ marriage is dissolved, each has moved into new relationships, but neither has processed a divorce. It’s tough on the kids.

NA: Remarkably positive about so much in her life again. Still there are many serious health issues to confront and well as some domestic tension. Pray for a healthy and peaceful resolution to these issues.

TH: Steady work sufficient to make a living wage so temporal needs can be met.

MBN: I encourage you to continue to pray for one another. Many of the prayer requests we publish here come from MBN members. If you will take 45 seconds every day to read or recite the MBN prayer, you will be doing much to support your brothers and sisters in their time of need or moments of praise. They are praying for, with, and about you as well. Next Friday I will have some additional information about the MBN and our members.

I am so grateful in my heart for each and every one of you. I thank you and bless you for the love you have shared through these little weekly exchanges. With love in Him who sets us free,

Age Quod Agis, Beloved

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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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