Then the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a strong hand and outstretched arm, with terrifying power, with signs and wonders, and brought us to this place, and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey.
Last fall we went apple picking. We were a small party, composed of immediate family. It was a beautiful crisp day, just the kind you would order for such an excursion.
On our rounds we passed an old wood wagon, behind it and off a bit in the distance lay the remains of an abandoned stone farmhouse—roofless, hollowed out, its fireplaces and chimneys still the main draw. But is was a tiny hand-painted sign on the wagon right before me that most caught my attention:
“Honey is the only food that includes all the substances necessary to sustain life, including enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and water.”
I don’t know if it’s true or not, and I’m not going to spend much time investigating. I like the thought. That’s what matters. So I’m going to keep it, well not keep it, but steward it. Yes, ‘steward’ is a much better word:
Thus should one regard us: as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.
(1 Corinthians 4:1)
So often an internet search can do quite the opposite. It can make us into investigators, examiners, maybe even mean-spirited inquisitors. It can turn us into lots of things, other than stewards.
Such an investigative approach also often opens the door to outright skepticism. It may even lead us into intellectual scrupulosity. And all scrupulosity, no matter its form or make up, steals joy. And that we just cannot allow.
On the other hand, we also have to be responsible. We can’t just “believe everything we hear and read”, right?
So what is one to do with such a pickle?
Well, a good steward should look to his master for advice, after all it’s his property we are called to steward on his behalf:
Now it is of course required of stewards that they be found trustworthy.
(1 Corinthians 4:2)
So there we have it. We must be stewards of God’s mysteries, and as stewards we must be found trustworthy.
Sounds straight forward enough. Tough to do though.
Perhaps this can help.
Let’s go step by step, at our Savior’s command:
First, let us become more aware of the very mystery that is put into our care:
Our Father, who art in heaven…
Let us next adore what we do not understand:
hallowed be thy name;
Let us then accept the great gift of responsibility, handed over to each one of us daily:
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
What happens next seems logical enough, we have to ask for help:
Give us this day our daily bread,
And with that, we address the inevitable—for even if we possess only a morsel of humility—we all know that disobedience on our part is bound to occur:
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
Now, having about all we need to proceed, it’s a very good idea to remind ourselves of an eternal reality: That the master is ultimately in control and oversees us closely—rooting us on to accomplish what he wills for us to achieve, all in his very name:
and lead us not into temptation,
But just in case we fail to avoid the snares and traps hidden in plain and disordered sight—especially from falling into the false belief that the “possessions” placed into our care are actually our own—we plead with great desperation, like Saint Peter and all true disciples who think they’ve become lost, that we don’t completely sink into the waters of darkness when our faith begins to falter:
but deliver us from evil.
And together we say:
Yes. I accept. I believe. I agree.
So be it.
(or in other words:)
Now, if I can only find some raw milk for breakfast…
Look down, then, from heaven, your holy abode, and bless your people Israel and the fields you have given us, as you promised on oath to our ancestors, a land flowing with milk and honey.