Christ is born! Glorify Him!
My doctor looked at me and said “Father, your body is thirsty! You need to drink more water!” What I mistook for hunger was actually my body being thirsty! Wow, what a revelation.
So, it is with our lives. We can mistake our thirst for God as a thirst for safety or security or even fame. All the while we act on these mistaken ideas and we stay thirsty, unsatisfied, and deluded by our unquenchable thirst for God Himself. And He is the only One Who can quench our thirst for Him!
Look at our Gospel Lesson today in Luke 14:25-35:
At that time, great multitudes accompanied Jesus; and he turned and said to them, “If any one comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple. For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build, and was not able to finish.’ Or what king, going to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and take counsel whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends an embassy and asks terms of peace. So therefore, whoever of you does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple. Salt is good; but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltness be restored? It is fit neither for the land nor for the dunghill; men throw it away. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
Notice the Lord deals with our spiritual blindness and delusion head-on. He insists that to get all our other “thirsts” quenched we have to get our thirst for God right FIRST. In fact, my relationship with myself is not right until my need for Him is right. Next, the only way to ever come to this quenching of my thirst is by understanding what it will cost me if I do this work and what it will cost me if I don’t! The Lord leaves us with no other alternative but to embrace this reordering of our desires if we ever hope to actually satisfy what we thirst for. Of course, the first step is to wake up to your true thirst and discover why you are thirsty.
The Lord reveals that what makes you desire, reveals what you truly want! He uses the ancient example of salt; a commodity so valuable in the time of Christ that they would actually use salt as currency! Salt preserves. Salt adds flavor! Salt is a disinfectant! Salt equals life! Even to this day, one of the time-honored traditions of greeting our bishops when they come to our communities is to offer them bread and salt! The properties of salt are the spiritual properties you are meant to have in the way you live your life. You are meant to live in such a way that your life adds “flavor” to all around you. You are meant to live your life in such a way that it helps “preserve” true life all around you. You are the salt of the earth. But if the “salt” loses its “saltiness” what good is it? So too a follower of Christ in word only simply doesn’t fulfill the purpose of a believer who is doing the hard work of reorienting her priorities to BE what you were meant to be!
Today, what makes you thirsty? What do your desires reveal to you about your own soul? Are you willing to submit your desires to the bright light of the Faith so that you can learn how to quench your deepest thirst with the timeless wisdom of the Faith? And, are you willing to live your life in such a way that others will be made “thirsty” for God because of the “saltiness” of your own life being Orthodox on Purpose?
P.S. Dear Lord Jesus, I try to satisfy my thirsty soul with all the wrong things. What I truly thirst for is You. Please help me remember that when I go to drink from the wells of selfishness and my undisciplined passions. Amen!
A Special Message from Fr. Barnabas: We only have a few days left in 2021 (Thank God!) and that means we are close to the end of our annual fundraiser for Faith Encouraged Ministries. We love getting notes like this: “I always enjoy receiving your mail. The daily dose of spiritual encouragement is just what I need to start my day!” Please help us here at year’s end to have a strong ministry in 2022! Click the picture below to give today! Thank you