Saturday, January 24, 2009

My Staff and My Stay

On this Sabbath Eve, I’ve been thinking a lot about something Isaiah once said. In Isaiah 3:1 he says, “For, behold, the Lord, the Lord of hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stay and the staff, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water.” The words staff and stay in the Hebrew mean support. So Isaiah is prophesying that the impending war will take away from the people the life sustaining support of food and water.

It is easy to read that verse and think of it as a historical fact that came to pass and has no relevance to us in our day. But there is a metaphorical meaning that is powerful here. Bread and water in our day make up the Sacrament, and if we partake of the Sacrament with real intent and worthily, it is our support, our staff and stay. When we take the Sacrament with real intent we renew our baptismal covenants and promise to do better in the coming week than we did in the preceding week. We implement the Atonement in our lives. In so doing we are strengthened and supported in our efforts to gradually become better and better people.

But if we partake half-heartedly or unworthily, the Sacrament will not be a support in our lives. The Lord will take away our staff and stay and we will be left on our own with no support.

Tomorrow as I take the Sacrament I think I’ll imagine that staff being handed to me to help support me through the week. I’ll imagine it in my hand. I’ll imagine depending on it for support. And then I’ll remember my imaginary staff that is the grace of God all week and watch for the many ways it supports me.


Wendi said...

I'm thankful that I'm going to be able to go to church tomorrow. I'm also going to be saying the benediction in sacrament meeting. I'll appreciate thinking about the support that the Lord will be giving me to have more good days after taking the sacrament. Thanks for this insight. :)

Sherrie Mills Johnson said...

Wendi, I like to hear that those good days are still coming!

Brett, Kelly, Cohen and Kembry said...


I've been reading your blog for a couple of months now, and have continually been inspired and blessed by your words. I've always wanted to comment, but have always felt that a simple, "Thank you for your words," was not enough. I even go home and have my husband read with me. I read your posts like a book. I look forward, every day, to what new insight you might bring me. I hope you don't mind that I've referred people to your blog, hoping that they can reap from it what I have, and have even qouted you.

So, thank you so much for your insight. I hope you teach again, because I would love to take your class.


Sherrie Mills Johnson said...

Kelly, Thank you so much for leaving a comment! I love comments. And yours were so kind! Thanks, too, for sharing my blog. I hope to hear from you again! Much love!