In which there is a black daisy

by Craig on June 9, 2011

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And so, yesterday, my clever little plan to define the word “works” by using the context of the entire New Testament hit a snag. What our Bibles translate as “works” is not always the same word that James used when he wrote, “faith without works is dead”.

Oh, and there’s a lot of talk about “daisies” here – if you get confused just click on this post and it’ll fix you right up.

I thought about it. And while I think the other words, like

πρᾶξις

pronounced Praxees (emphasis on the first syllable)

have a use. I think, for now, it’s best to just look at the instances of the actual word that James used:

ἔργον

pronounced like “air gone” – emphasis on the first syllable.

And even one step further. James uses the plural, “works” – so I figure I should narrow the search to just the plural, “works”.

All this because I said that “works” means basically two things in the context of salvation: one being the not so adequate “works” of the law of Moses, and the other being the much more adequate “works” of law of love.

And the biblical context for the word “works” as it refers to salvation is narrowing.

for instance…

yesterday I found a whole bunch of “works” in the Bible that mean “miracles”.

Those are not…

And I can’t ever use this word without thinking of…

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Jermaine Jackson.

… those words aren’t really germane to the topic.

Miracles are kind of like daffodils in our field of daisies.

So I come to the next germane “daisy”, the next “works” in the New Testament, and here it is…

He was a man.
He was probably an older man.
He had respect that came with time on the job.
His job was to set up and enforce rules.

The job was developed because there was a time when the rules were totally disregarded and it ended in disaster. During the time of disaster the people were determined to make sure the rules were clearly spelled out. I think, in an effort to be certain they would never be broken again.

The problem with rules is that they always have loopholes – they just beg to be broken – or manipulated.

The man was a Pharisee, and one interested in questioning Jesus about his message. So he came, by night, probably so he could do so in secret. And he asked Jesus to explain things.

Our Lord began explaining about salvation,
and being born again,
and about how believing in him brought eternal life.

And then he talked of those who prove they don’t believe in him – by their actions.

My mom always said,” actions speak louder than words.”

And this is the verdict, that the light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to light, because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come toward the light, so that his works might not be exposed. But whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God. (John 3:19-21)

And so after narrowing the context …

and eliminating daffodils…

because they’re big and pretty…

but not Jermaine Jackson…

and not daisies…

here is a new kind of daisy…

a black daisy…

evil “works”.

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“Works” not done by people who believe, people determined not to sin, but who sometimes do. These black daisies are intentional and deliberate acts by those wanting nothing to do with the Light – with God.

And the little hamsters in my head are running on the squeaky wheels…

And the wheels are turning…

more tomorrow…

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Cora June 9, 2011 at 9:29 am

I feel like a little kid in someone’s garden and being told which flowers I can pick and which I can’t. Daisies —- yes! Daffodils — no! I have visions of little kids with fist fulls of dandilions. Gues those don’t count, either, huh???

You got me last night. I lugged out that big, heavy concordance. And I did spot that ONE verse where the number was different from all the others, and this was it. I think that book gets heavier and heavier every year.

So is this the only black daisy we will find? Do we need a third vase on the table?

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Craig June 9, 2011 at 11:37 am

well, I don’t know if this is the only black daisy – I suspect it may not be – but I also suspect there won’t be many if there are more. There are lots more plurals of “work” – but this may be the only black daisy. Besides we wouldn’t want to put this black daisy in a vase anyway. Back daisy’s are not good. Dandelions? There may be some dandelions ahead :-) God bless you Cora!

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A. June 9, 2011 at 12:30 pm

Craig, confessions here: I am very interested and following your flower walk here, but among the greatest gifts for me at this time is humor. Humor is good medicine. I need good medicine. So, I awarded the prize in this post to: ‘the little hamsters in my head are running on the squeaky wheels…” I can picture that and in my condition that was worth some sorely needed laughter.

With all due respect, I promise.
:) A.

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Craig June 9, 2011 at 12:35 pm

it sounds like you need a Laska post – I’ll tell him to work on it – he’s having “issues” with going outside right now – that seems like it might be post-worthy. I’ll have a talk with him :-) God bless you A.

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Michelle June 12, 2011 at 4:06 am

I’m reading this late (Sat my time) and ‘the little hamsters in my head are running on the squeaky wheels…” is so vivid right now. Probably because my printer is squeaking away taking it’s time preparing to print some CDs for me to record sermons at a later date.

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Craig June 12, 2011 at 8:07 am

It’s funny how the context of the moment colors what we read. One last word about my humble little prayer pattern – and praying all the different parts of the Lord’s prayer – and discussing what they mean with our Lord – I heart looking around at my immediate context and bringing that into the discussion. That’s what makes it so new – even though I’ve been doing it a long time. Reading is like that – and reading the Bible is like that too. Squeaky wheels comes alive when a squeaky printer is printing – interesting :-) God bless.

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A. June 9, 2011 at 12:43 pm

Yes, Craig. Send a Laska post out in the ambulance. That would be very good medicine!!!! You know I vote for Laska all the time with all my heart. Love that kitty! And I understand having ‘issues’ at times with ‘going outside’. I really do.

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Craig June 12, 2011 at 8:08 am

Laska is working on his “I used to be brave outside – but now I’m scared” post. :-)

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