Daily Reflection
October 21st, 2008

Janine ter Kuile

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“Jesus said to his disciples: Gird your loins and light your lamps”

‘Gird your loins’ is a biblical term and one I didn’t get. So I asked a priest… he said it had something to do with eating light…like during Passover when the Jews had to be ready to travel. Another friend said, ’tighten up your belt, be ready for serious action’. …. Another said it meant a warning to wear our full armor, because the back is exposed, we must always be moving forward.

Then I went to the expert. Google said it’s an ‘allusion to the long garments, worn by the eastern nations, which they girded or tucked up about their loins, when they journeyed or were employed in any labor.’ When servants used to carry lights at weddings, generally in the night, girding the loins required keeping their belts fastened ….Last but not least, I went to the dictionary; originating in the Bible, it says ‘to prepare oneself for action’. The Urban dictionary says, ‘Girding my loins’ also means to anger one greatly, or ‘a loin girder’ is a person who angers someone. Well… this might go on and on, but the basic meaning is simply put; ‘Be in readiness’. I think this has something to do with being faithful….

Why is commitment and faithfulness so difficult today? Modern society extols freedom over fidelity… we have difficulty being bound to an uncertain future. Heaven knows, it’s inconvenient and annoying in light of our own to-do list. About our humility or personal poverty…God gives some of us different gifts than He gives others. If you are personally and financially advantaged, how easy is it to feel more entitled to the ‘favors’ of this world.…how more important is it, then, to hoist up our britches and take stock of ourselves.… An eager, anxious pursuit of the things of this world hinders our openness to grace.

If I value the beauty of holiness, I won’t crave the luxuries of life, which isn’t always about ‘material things’. If I give in to frustration and anxiety, I don’t cast my care to God, wherein dwells my inner peace. How am I called to a life of poverty….

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