“Open sesame!” Hidden from the robber band, Aladdin hears the secret, magic words. He beholds the rock face of the cave split. The robbers enter, then depart, divested of their ill-gotten goods. Like any well told fairy tale, Aladdin is compelled to use the magic words. Wonder of wonders, treasures which would light the heart of a dragon lie heaped within the cave.
“Ephphata!” The solid rock face of the heart opened. No bedazzling heap of priceless treasures awaited. The fictional crime fighter of radio lore asks the question,“Who knows what evil lurks within the heart of man?” We are not dependent on The Shadow for the answer. “…out of the heart of man, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murder, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, and evil eye, blasphemy, pride foolishness: all these evil things come from within,” Mark 7:21-23. Certainly it is an adequately vile hoard to satisfy the Old Dragon.
“Ephphata!” No need for the speaker to hide in trepidation, or wait for entry until the Dragon departs. Boldly with authority before that rock face, the Word utters the word. Bats from hell could flee no faster; the Dragon and his cohorts are evicted. Out goes the bad air, in comes the good. “And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” John 1:5 Light overcomes dark, cleanses what was defiled, creates a new heart.
“Ephphata, that is be opened.” (Mark 7:17) The deaf man heard, the mute man spoke. “Ephphata!” He was known in the breaking of the bread. “Ephphata!” Heaven is seen by the martyr. “Ephphata!” The eyes of understanding are enlightened. “Ephphata!” Out goes the bad air. The dark recess of our heart has been opened by the power of the Word. In comes the good to replace the fetid stench of the Dragon’s lair. “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7
“And sometimes I think about a one-and-a-half-year old child with its baby teeth still coming in, whose days on this earth were so very, very few.” (National Geographic, July 1988, page 53) The author of the article, haunted by that scene as he unearthed the remains of a 4th century town on the Island of..Read More ›
We spent a half week with all nine of the children and the twelve grandchildren. The occasion was our son’s wedding. Tears threatened when the boys, now men, stood as groomsmen for their brother. The struggle of our grandson to stay awake and the relaxed attitude in one of the boy’s suits served to prevent..Read More ›