To those who rely on someone to carry out their orders or deliver a message, the faithfulness of that person is critical. Unreliable messengers make a MESS.
Have you ever played the game “Gossip”? It is where a verbal message is relayed through multiple people. Once the message reaches the last person it is compared to the original. VERY SELDOM are the two identical. If the message were written, there would more than likely be a reasonable representation of the original message, if not identical. The more reliable the transfer media, the more hope the message will arrive intact. With fewer relay points, the greater the chance the message will be delivered accurately. And the more trustworthy the person(s) carrying the message, the more faith the sender has in its completed delivery.
Some ‘messages’ don’t really require a precise delivery. Having a ‘close approximation’ of the intent of the original message is enough. With my dog, when I call her away from begging at my husband’s feet, she only pays attention to part of the message. I can say “Place” (meaning go lie down on your rug), “Up, up” (meaning jump up on the couch and lie down), “Settle” (meaning go lie down), or “Go away” (meaning leave the room). She KNOWS what each of these means. “Go away” is still in process. But what she takes from each command isn’t always clear in the moment. Or at least she wants me to think she didn’t understand. She may back away from him a few feet or actually go to her rug and lie down. Some times I let her be with whatever action she has taken, as long as it gets her away from him. Other times I expect her to do EXACTLY as she was told. Truthfully, I am more apt to require her to fulfill the command completely. Otherwise, she would figure out she didn’t really have to follow her commands.
Other messages, their content is so vital that they have to be delivered exactly as they were issued. Imagine giving an invitation to a birthday party and not having the date or place communicated correctly. There would be a devastated child when the party guests didn’t arrive or were hours late.
Another critical message is getting directions from someone. When I lived in Virginia and Tennessee, I would ask for directions but the directions I received did me little good. The directions usually called for knowing the history of the area, which as a NEWCOMER I had NO idea what they were talking about. “Go past the old Piggly Wiggly, turn at the McCracken place, and go until you see the big boulders.” Try that on for size when you don’t know where the Piggly Wiggly used to be located, nor do you know who the McCracken family was or where they lived. And don’t get me started on what they called boulders! They look NOTHING like the “boulders” I was used to in Oregon. Needless to say, I was lost a LOT until I took the time to learn their landmarks. Only then could I understand their directions.
One of my aunt’s would give you directions from where she was to where you were. You had to start at the end and reverse every turn in order to get to where she was. I don’t know if anyone ever told her this or even tried to help her fix her method of giving directions. If you weren’t forewarned by someone, getting lost was a pretty sure bet. My mom warned me.
There is one message that is VITAL that it be delivered ACCURATELY. That message is the Gospel; the good news of God’s plan of salvation for our lives AND that His plan has already been put into place through Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. This message is SO important that God chose ONE Messenger to deliver it. He gave abbreviated versions and ‘spoiler alerts’ to many different people along the way. But only Jesus had the FULL message. He was the ONLY “Faithful Messenger” who was trusted with the whole message.
Jesus chose faithful messengers who would tell His story after He returned to the Father. He didn’t send His messengers out until He had finished telling and showing them the fullness of the message. Their witness is faithful and true because Jesus sent with them another TRULY Faithful Messenger; the Holy Spirit.
Every part of this message is important but some pieces carry fewer consequences if the delivery suffers in the translation. But the CORE of His message must be delivered ALWAYS with faithful adherence to the original message. God has protected His message over the centuries and He will continue to do so until the end of time. THIS is because of His Faithful Messenger! IF you are EVER in doubt of what His word says to you, ask His Faithful Messenger, the Holy Spirit, to explain it to you.
I want to take a quick moment and look at the first part of our reading. The “cold of snow in the time of harvest” part. First, I’m pretty sure you don’t want snow to fall while you are harvesting. It would kill your crops. But when you are working hard, a cold breeze is most welcome. I remember times when I would be working hard and would be hot and sweaty. I would ask God for a cool breeze to refresh me. It is amazing how many times He answered this prayer. And when He did, it was AMAZNING and faith building. Nothing says that God cares about me personally than when He answers one of my simple requests. Be it a breeze, a close parking space, my husband not having a crisis while I’m away, or bringing home a lost pet. When He listens to my prayers and answers them right away, my heart soars! My Faithful Messenger got my message through, even when it wasn’t life shattering.
Father God, THANK YOU for listening to me. For the MANY times when I brought something small and insignificant as well as when the request I brought was weighty. You ALWAYS hear me; of that I’m certain. You don’t always answer the way I want You too, but even that is an answer for my real needs. Let me be a faithful messenger with Your word. Let the words I speak be EXACTLY the ones You wanted shared. Whether in big things or in little, help me be a TRUE and TRUSTWORTHY faithful messenger. Let my BIGGEST and clearest message be one of YOUR love.