Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Needle's Eye

The needle's eye or more commonly the "eye of the needle" is the small oval opening at the head of a needle through which the thread or material being threaded will pass to facilitate the sewing process. Needles may be very small and thus difficult to thread or they may be large enough that actual cord is used as the threading material. The most common needles are those used to sew clothing and - from experience - are often very difficult to thread. Many times as a youngster I was asked by my mother to thread a needle for her. That I could do - the actual sewing - was always better left up to mother's hands. In Holy Scripture - in Jewish - Christian and Islam religions - scripture relates to impossible objects being passed through a needle's eye. The Babylonian Talmud refers to an elephant passing through a needle's eye. In both the Bible and Quran - reference is made to a camel passing through the eye of a needle. 
In Mark 10:24-25 Jesus tells His disciples that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into heaven. At first glance one might think Jesus is being highly critical of those with wealth - but upon deeper inspection we find that it is not the wealth that is the problem - rather how men handle their wealth and how many allow wealth to become their god.  To be wealthy does not necessarily mean to have a lot of money - anything that we might possess in great abundance - may be considered wealth - excess clothing - 100 pairs of shoes - hours upon hours of free time that goes wasted - may all divert our attention from God and those around us who need our help. Jesus warns us that following the law - knowing the rules - staying safely in our own space - does not guarantee anyone a place in heaven. Knowledge is one thing - putting that knowledge into action - freely serving God and His people - are what counts.  Today we all need to look at our wealth and ask ourselves - what are we doing with it - does it distract us from our commitment to God - or are we using our excess to meet the needs of those around us?

Deacon Dale