I took the little scroll . . . and ate it. It tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour.
Let’s reflect some more today on what it can mean to say that the good-news message of salvation (represented by the little scroll) is sweet and sour.
When John, the narrator of this story, asked the angel to give him the little scroll, he was told, “Take it and eat it. It will turn your stomach sour, but ‘in your mouth it will be as sweet as honey.’”
We like the “sweet as honey” part, but we don’t like the idea of a sour stomach. Couldn’t the good news of God just linger in our mouths and not sink down deep inside?
When I think about this, I am reminded of my friend Nuygen who, as an adult, came to know Jesus as his Lord and Savior. Nuygen took in the good news and savored it. He read God’s Word, the Bible, and he studied it and loved it.
Then one day he reflected on Jesus’ teaching that says, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44). Nuygen had grown up in Vietnam in the 1970s, and his body still carried scars inflicted by ruthless enemies. Now the good-news message, which had tasted so sweet, turned sour in his stomach. Nuygen’s memories of those scars gave him deep pain and bitterness and anger. But, in Christ, his faith grew stronger as his anger turned to forgiveness.
Faith in Jesus requires letting God’s Word sink deep down inside us to change us, wherever we may need to be changed—and healed.
Spirit of God, sink your Word deep inside me to make changes where I need them. Amen.