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Clarion Call

Daily Reading: 1 Corinthians 14

Scripture Focus: And if the bugle gives an indistinct sound, who will get ready for battle? (1 Corinthians 14.8)

Devotional Thought: One Christmas my daughter Jenny received the (dubious?) honor of playing the horse whinny in "Sleigh Ride." It was a very distinct and obvious sound - unmistakable. I was always so proud of her playing not only the whinny, but all the rest of her trumpet solos.

The trumpet is designed to give a clear and distinct sound. When blown correctly, it is unmistakable. Before the advent of radios, it was indispensable in military operations. A "clarion call" was used to rally the troops, to initiate action, to sound a cease-fire, and even to call for strategic retreat. A battle could be lost before it ever began, if the trumpet sounded an indistinct signal.

God - though a God of mystery - speaks clearly and decisively. And, when he speaks, things happen. We, like him, should be distinct. That was a concern that Paul had for the church in Corinth. Somehow or another, the church there had co-mingled the Spirit-inspired Pentecostal gift of 'earthly' languages, with a pagan practice of the day - speaking in unknown, ecstatic outbursts of 'heavenly' languages. Paul warned against the practice, equating it with "indistinct sounds", which were totally useless to "get ready for battle."

What the Church needed then and needs now is a "clarion call" - a brilliantly clear call to action. Selfishness and wickedness have multiplied in society and have infiltrated the Church, causing sickness and weakness that must be routed. But, if the preaching is unclear, if the message is indistinct, the battle will not even be engaged.

Let us be clear and distinct, sounding the trumpet of God's love!

Prayer: Lord, through your Word and through your prophets, may the trumpet sound! And, may my life be a clear and vibrant witness to the holiness and grace of God. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: 116.1-4

1 I love the Lord, because he has heard

my voice and my pleas for mercy.

2 Because he inclined his ear to me,

therefore I will call on him as long as I live.

3 The snares of death encompassed me;

the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me;

I suffered distress and anguish.

4 Then I called on the name of the Lord:

“O Lord, I pray, deliver my soul!”

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