Source: Memories of Easter
After a day and a half of travelling, I finally made it to Barcelona.
Upon landing, my first visit was to a pharmacy, and then this morning I went to the doctor…not the ideal start to a trip that looked very promising as I was flying in.
I took the ‘opportunity’ of waking up early to pray and ask God for his guidance in this trip…and one word came to mind: DISPENSATION.
That’s not a word that I come across every day so I went to look up what was the biblical use for this term; I found the following:
“Entry for ‘Dispensation'”. A King James Dictionary.
The Greek word (oikonomia) so translated signifies primarily, a stewardship, the management or disposition of affairs entrusted to one. Thus 1 Corinthians 9:17, the King James Version “A dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me,” the Revised Version (British and American) “I have stewardship entrusted to me.” The idea is similar in Ephesians 3:2 parallel Colossians 1:25 (the Revised Version, margin “stewardship”). In Ephesians 1:10 God’s own working is spoken of as “dispensation.”
The Greek word ‘oikonomia’ is pretty easy to remember because we have a similar word in English…Economy. Dispensation is God’s economy entrusted to us, hence it’s translation as management or stewardship.
As I was thinking about God’s economy the first thing that came to mind is the multiplication rules of His Kingdom, they are very counter-intuitive to what we expect from our human experience. We can see the unique nature of God’s math throughout the Bible; God multiplies resources in supernatural ways for those who serve him.
Not surprisingly, my favorite stories of resource multiplication are related to food. We can find those in Old Testament (ex. the story of Elijah and the Widow in 1st Kings 17), and New Testament accounts (ex. the feeding of the 5000 in Mark 6). What strikes me about those two stories is that God used unlikely people (a widow and a young man) who had very little to offer from the perspective of ‘human economy’ and multiplied the little they had not only to fulfill a need, but create a surplus (a.k.a called abundantly provide).
Those stories exemplify the dispensation of God in a very practical way; God works in us and through us as we trust Jesus and follow his word. Our human limitations are not an obstacle, but a tool that God uses to showcase his love, power, and presence in the lives of those around us. All we have to do is bring what we have and put it in his service.
After starting the trip at the doctor, and having to take antibiotics for the next couple of days, I was not feeling very optimistic about this trip…but then there came this word…DISPENSATION…and it changed everything in light of God’s word.
Profiling as a tool to gain insight and understanding is widely applied in fields of social science; marketing, economics, and healthcare to name a few.
For today’s bible beans (and in preparation for this Sunday’s sharing), I am looking at how Wisdom is described in the book of proverbs…paying especial attention to instances in which Wisdom is personified…creating an initial profile based on the description.
This Sunday, I will be sharing about how we are to understand what the bible tells us about wisdom and the fear of God. In preparation, here’s an infographic with some key information about it.
For today’s readings, we look at John the baptist as he baptised Jesus. From the passage we see John felt inadequate for the task at hand, this is not unlike many of us…we sometimes struggle with feelings of inadequacy. The beautiful thing when we respond to Jesus’ calling is that he shows up for us in ways that exceed our expectations, like we see happen for John in this passage.
Chapter 4 verse 26 of Genesis documents the initial instances of what could be called ‘organised worship’. This takes place during a time where people were beginning to ‘specialise’ in different fields of production and art.