Sunday, November 28, 2010

Romans 12 -- table manners toward host

Many of my friends just celebrated the Korban Bayram, the Feast of the Sacrifice, in memory of the day when Abraham passed God's ultimate test of his faith. God provided a substitute for the human sacrifice Abraham was prepared to offer. Millions of Muslims around the world sacrifice a clean animal on Korban Bayram -- a sheep for a family, or a cow can be shared out among four families. The meat is eaten with glad piety on that day, and shared with the poor, with students away from home, and with friends. (yes, we have some in our freezer.)

The meat is good. The Divine Mercy celebrated is even more wonderful.

When invited to a state dinner, you conduct yourself in a manner different from when you raid the buffet at a Golden Corral. At Mr. Wok, the focus is on the food. Delicious, varied, and unlimited servings. If I were sitting at dinner with a head of state, however, I would be paying at least as much attention to the head table as I do to my own. (I may have to recycle this observation when I get to I Cor. 11!)

The first part of the first verse in this chapter sets the tone for all that follows:
Rom 12:1 Öyleyse kardeşlerim, Tanrı'nın merhameti adına size yalvarırım: Bedenlerinizi diri, kutsal, Tanrı'yı hoşnut eden birer kurban olarak sunun. Ruhsal tapınmanız budur.
Therefore / brothers / God's / mercies / in the name of / to you / I implore:

Because of all that God has done for us, a certain deportment on our behalf is appropriate.

Your bodies / living / holy / to God / acceptable / is / as a / sacrifice / is / present. [1] Spiritual / your worship / this is.

Imagine a child begging his mother for money, so he can buy her a present. Everything we have to offer our God consists of what He first gave us. Happy people are grateful people, humble people, people who delight in noting where their blessings come from. As the rest of this chapter will show, such people are also a lot of fun to hang around with.


[1] Interesting -- in this sentence, we see the two Turkish equivalents of the English "to be" -- etmek and olmak. Maybe when I study a while longer, I'll know when to use each!

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