Bubbling Over

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Griha Pravesh ritual

Griha Pravesh is a housewarming ritual of the Tamil people of India and Sri Lanka. Do you ever "google" something and in the process of getting your answer you find all kinds of stuff that you weren't looking for and end up following a lot of rabbit trails? Is that a good illustration of a serendipity? Anyway, that's what happened when I stumbled upon Griha Pravesh. One of the rituals that is done in this event is the boiling over of milk. It happens to me accidently when I'm making hot chocolate for the grandkids, but the wife of the house in a Griha Pravesh will purposefully and ceremoniously put on a pot of milk and let it boil over. It symbolizes abundant wealth (maybe a desire for it).

The word "abundant" was my initial goal in my search before I got distracted.

It's a funny little word in Greek. Do you remember when Jesus fed the 5000 and then the 4000 with the loaves and fish. The text tells us that in one case there were 12 baskets left over and in the other there were 7 baskets leftover. That word "leftover" is the Greek word for abundant. The picture I get in my mind is that the baskets were "boiling over" with leftover food.

In another text we have this reading: 2 Corinthians 9:6 But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. So, there is the word again. The idea of the text is, as the old saying goes, "you can't out-give God." God's grace is pictured as "bubbling over." We are given an abundant wealth of grace in order that we might be able to accomplish every good work. There are many lessons we could learn here, the most significant being that our giving to God is an act of faith. We know, because He has promised, that if we sow bountifully and give cheerfully God will graciously reward so that we can use the overabundance of grace to accomplish His will. There is a whole sermon in there, but I'll move on.

In another passage we read, Ephesians 1:7, In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, 9 having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself. Here again the grace of God is pictured as boiling over. This text is about the blessing of redemption. All that has happened and does happen in order for us to be redeemed is because of the abundance of God's grace toward us. Like the Tamil wife who purposely boils over the milk, God purposely boils over His grace to accomplish His good pleasure—the salvation of your soul.

I'll leave you with a challenge. Get a good Bible concordance (or go to one online) and look up the word "abundant." Don't get lost on the rabbit trails like I did, but take the opportunity to see the ways that God's love for you is boiling over, full past the brim, and how those who understand that are, in turn, bubbling over with joy and faith.