Friday, September 4, 2009

The Consecrated Pearl

At the risk of sounding narcissistic and self-absorbed, I have done some extensive research of my name. My name is Megan Elizabeth. My mom had a card that she stuck to our refrigerator as I was a child. It had my name on it and its definition. I would read it and feel precious and seen. Megan means “pearl”. Elizabeth means “consecrated unto God”. Specifically, the Hebrew definition for Elizabeth is “my God is my oath.” I am a pearl, consecrated unto God.
Pearls are found inside of oysters. I happened to wear a pearl necklace over the past couple days. The past year, right before my graduation from Mercy, my mother gave me a beautiful necklace made of real black pearls. They are more deep purple rather than black, but they are still considered to be black. The word “pearl” has become a metaphor for something very rare, fine, and admirable. All of these qualities are qualities that I would never attribute to myself. In fact, I feel quite the opposite. Pearls, as I stated earlier, are formed inside the shell of mollusks. The pearl is actually created as a defense mechanism, protecting the mollusk from parasites that might form within the shell. When a shell becomes a host for an irritant (parasite), it secretes pure calcium carbonate to cover the irritant over and over, creating the pearl. The shell turns something parasitic into something rare, beautiful, and fine. Jesus compared the kingdom of heaven to the pearl of great price. The farmer buries the pearl, sells all that he has, and returns to the pearl. It is worth more than this man’s amassed wealth. Pearls are attached to eternity in Revelation, where the gates are made of pearl. In summary, the pearl is of great value. The Lord says, “Megan, you are my valuable pearl. You are worth more than you can imagine. You have been formed around great irritants, and I have made good in you out of danger.” Once again, I see that what the enemy intended for evil, the Lord has used for great good. The pearl is what it is because of a history of very specific formation.
The Lord calls me consecrated unto Himself. Consecrated items are set apart as sacred. They are sanctified for the purpose of communion. They are dedicated to a holy purpose or goal. This is a future-oriented value. A consecrated item is what it is for future service and communion with the Lord. Its Latin roots mean specifically to be made sacred. This making of consecration is something that is done to the recipient, not something that the recipient produces through its own efforts. One Hebrew word for consecrated is “qadash,” which implies that something is PRONOUNCED to be clean. It is appointed. It is bidden. It is made clean for the purpose of God’s work. Another Hebrew word for consecrated is “malo.” This means to be filled to overflowing. Once again, the implication is “to have done from without.” It is an exhaustive in the sense that it is filled up. To fill one’s hand is to consecrate someone for priestly service.
This leads me to the passage in 1 Peter 2, which says, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a dedicated nation, God’s own purchased, special people, that you may set forth the wonderful deeds and display the virtues of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are a people of God. Once you were unpitied, but now you are pitied and have received mercy.”
The Lord has taken me as something that is parasitic and destructive and made me into something that is well-formed, rare, and beautiful to Him. He has from without called and named me as His own, bidden for His own purpose. He has poured Himself into me to overflowing because of His purpose in me for priestly service. My name is beautiful. My bridegroom calls me precious, holy, and consecrated, and that is who I am. He is pulling me out of the shell, stringing me on his necklace, and calling me beautiful. Then He is preparing me for ministry through the continual pouring in of His Spirit so that I can be a vessel through which He ministers to the world.

2 comments:

  1. Wonderful post, thank you for sharing. I appreciate your writing style as its not entirely self centered nor academic. See you around campus!

    Dave.

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  2. You're writing is excellent. Hope to meet you soon. (New ATS Student).

    ReplyDelete