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Monday, December 15, 2014

Remnants for God

"I will leave as a remnant in your midst a people humble and lowly,... They shall do no wrong and speak no lies; Nor shall there be found in their mouths a deceitful tongue; They shall pasture and couch their flocks with none to disturb them."

More than once as a friar I have shopped for rug remnants. Wanting to spruce us a bedroom or a guest parlor, I searched carpet outlets for their left over pieces of fabric that would would give the friary some warmth and texture. Usually inexpensive, the remnants were of good quality and though the did not fit the rooms perfectly, they did their job and were able to last even when the rooms in which they were placed had a lot of traffic.

God speaks of remnants in the Hebrew bible and promises the Jewish nation that though they were unfaithful to the Covenant, there would always be humble and lowly believers who maintained their faith despite the cost. In the bible the remnant of Israel were poor and from the underclass, but their faith was strong and unbreakable. Despite their struggles they knew God was with them as a guide and protector, and they could not and would not turn away from the gift of faith handed onto them freely by their parents and relatives. Like the remnant rugs I purchased, the remnant of Israel were of high quality, and though they would never know high office or important positions, they sought only to please God and be faithful witnessed to the Covenant. While most would never notice them, they were the reason God remained faithful to the Jewish nation despite the infidelity of most believers.

Mary and Joseph, poor, probably uneducated and without pretense become God's choice to bring Jesus into the world. Like the remnant of old, Mary and Joseph say yes to God despite the cost and become the ground upon which God builds the new and everlasting Covenant, Jesus, the Messiah and Savior of us all.

Today, think of yourself as a remnant for God's use.

How do you maintain your faith in the face of overwhelming challenges?

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