Thursday, May 14, 2015

Head-to-Toe Alleluia

A Christian should be an alleluia from head to foot.  

--St. Augustine.

There once was a small town at the foot of a big mountain.  It was a beautiful little town, with a crystal clear stream running right through the heart of the city.  Kids swam in that stream, couples boated there, and people even drank from the waters, which were said to be tastier than anything bottled or piped in.  The source of the stream was a spring, high up in that mountain.  The town fathers paid a small salary to a hermit who lived near there; he kept the spring clean of any, silt, tree branches, and other pollution.  He was called the Keeper of the Spring.  One day, the city council was making big plans to build stadiums, concert halls, and other attractions they thought would turn that little town into a big city.  They voted to lay off the Keeper of the Spring in order to save money. After all, no one really saw him at work, and his position seemed irrelevant to a city on the move.  At first, nothing happened.  Then people began to notice that the stream looked dirty.  Soon, there was a noxious smell coming from the waters.  People who had swam and sipped from the stream all their lives began to get sick.  In spite of all the state-of-the-art upgrades, the little town shrank instead of growing, because the stream was polluted...and with the death of the stream, there was no life in the town.

In the parable, you are the town.  The stream is your soul.  The things it takes to maintain your soul are small and silent.  No one knows whether you do them or not.  But if you fail to do them, if you focus on flashier, more immediately rewarding pursuits, your soul will wither, and your life will suffer.  What are you doing to feed, cleanse and strengthen your soul?

All this Spring, I've been talking about the spiritual disciplines that help us encounter God in fresh ways, feeding our souls and transforming our lives.  This Sunday, I'll wrap up the series with some "next steps" that should benefit all of us.  We were meant to be people of joy and celebration, whose lives would be infectiously attractive to others and a blessing to the world.  Come this Sunday, and see how such a life is possible.


Karla Smedley said...

Sweet! I will make it to this service. Looking forward to visiting Westbury!

Jeff Berger said...

That's great news, Karla! It'll be wonderful to see you again.