Monday, December 1, 2008

A Good Day

"How are you today?" The expected response is, "Fine." It is an American greeting, not a question. An honest response is not expected, nor is it desired. Time does not allow for honest responses. For years now my response has been, "It's a good day." My wife tells me I am 'copping out'. I explain, "It is a good day because God made it. The way I respond to the day is up to me." My response is, in fact, one of the few things I actually have control of. If I am going to answer a question the least I can do is speak truth. Words matter, they have meaning. There are certain words I guard and protect. One of them is the word good. One day a man came to Jesus and asked, "Good teacher, what must I do to be saved?" Now, any respectable evangelical Christian lives for such a moment. The response is planned, prepared and practiced. Jesus looked at the man and asked, "Why do you call me good? Only God is good." Jesus understood that words matter. He used words to create matter. He chose words carefully. Culture chooses words randomly, creating context to fit the need, or sell a product. Last Spring I spent several Sunday mornings walking the grounds at Bethabara, the site of a Moravian community established in the mid-1700's. One such morning I walked the hill to God's Acre, the cemetery. Dogwood blossoms bowed over an iron fence row. I traced the hand-tooled lettering of a gravestone with a finger. Mockingbirds and sparrows provided audio. The dew reflected the sunrise. It was Sunday morning and it occurred to me, "It's a good day."

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