Together, we serve
to know Christ
and to make Christ known
for the glory of God

25 December 2020

Proverbs 15:30

Light in a messenger’s eyes brings joy to the heart,
    and good news gives health to the bones.

This proverb gives two practices that make for good health. The first is a cheerful look. We speak of the “gleam in the eyes.” It is the look that expresses happiness, approval, love, fun. It is the look of approval that the young student hopes for in the teacher as she looks over his essay, or that the child hopes for in his parents’ eyes as they read the card he made. It is the loving look a couple gives to one another that assures each other of secure love. It is that brightening of the eyes of your friend or loved one, because you came into sight. Or perhaps it is the look of forgiveness and reconciliation after a period of tension. Cheerful looks – bright eyes – have good effects on the heart.

For the bones, good news is very helpful. What is the “good news”? Like the look, it can be many things. Perhaps it is the long-awaited letter from a loved one; perhaps the good news of being accepted to college, or getting the job offer, or having one’s proposal for an idea accepted. It may be the good news that the cancer is gone or that one’s team won the championship. Whatever it is, good news has a powerful way of removing stress and making us feel better.

The simple, yet profound principle is that joy is a powerful, if not the most powerful, ingredient to a healthful life. Joyful people tend to live longer and healthier while being productive than gloomy people do. The “cheerful look” and the “good news” are not trivial forms of entertainment; they are not devices to blind us and deafen us from sad and bad realities. They are, rather, the nurturing elements that sustain us through the sufferings of this world. The best of men and women who have devoted themselves to working for justice and ministering to the suffering need the cheerful looks and good news from others to keep them going. The child, in order to become an adult who can persevere through trials, must along the way be nurtured with bright eyes and encouraging words. Just as a healthy plant must have a measure of light and water to be durable and fruitful, so a person needs a measure of cheerful expressions and good news.

Perhaps you will be the nourishing “vitamin” today in someone’s life with the light of your eyes and the good news of your tongue.

 

Ephesians 5

 Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.[a] Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them.

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. 14 This is why it is said:

“Wake up, sleeper,
    rise from the dead,
    and Christ will shine on you.”

15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Instructions for Christian Households

21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[b] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[c] 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.