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Friday, September 17, 2010

Day 253: Linen Garments

Today's Reading: Ezekiel 44-45

Linen is made from flax, a plant requiring much water. The entire plant is used, roots and all. Flax seed is planted closely together in order that the straight stalks which grow to over 4 feet high can be supported by others. Once harvested in bundles, flax is allowed to dry. Then its fibers are woven, often over 500/inch into a fabric which has incredible "breatheability."

God's priests wear linen, not wool. Why? According to this passage, linen breathes and, because of this, God's priest will not perspire.

The service of the priests is not to be considered "labor," but joyful service. It is to be like the service first imagined by God in the Garden of Eden, before the curse of thorns and a life lived "by the sweat of the brow."

I think there is also something to be said about the property of flax. Its source is an abundance supply of water, much like the Faithful's need for the refreshing living water of the Spirit. When called into use to make linen, the entire plant is given over to the task. So it is when we say "yes" to God. The call upon our lives involved a "yes" from our entire being--past, present and future--and of our entire resources, without reserve. Flax must grow tall in community. We, too, are dependent upon others to hold us up as we form the environ of mutual support. And as the flax is gathered in bundles to dry and woven tightly and densely, so, too, our ministries do not stand alone but together make a beautiful tapestry.

It is important to note that linen is the fabric of the redeemed in heaven. Imagine the joyful service there!

Let us rejoice and be glad
and give him glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come,
and his bride has made herself ready.
Fine linen, bright and clean,
was given her to wear." (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.)

Then the angel said to me, "Write: 'Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!' " And he added, "These are the true words of God."
Revelation 19:7-9

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