Sour, Like Milk

The kids and I celebrated the end of our school year with a trip to the local dairy. 

The folks there transform delicious, creamy milk into many flavors of gelato and cheese. Milk, when it is good, is very good, and when it is bad, it is, well, sour.

When milk goes sour at our house, we give it to the cat. It’s not good for much else. Whether it got too warm, was poured into a dirty container, or natural bacteria took over after the passing of time, no one wants to drink sour milk.

When the Apostle Paul quoted the Psalmist, I think he had milk in mind when he said, “All have turned aside; together they have become worthless. No one does good, not even one.”

Turned milk is worthless. So are turned people.

My Google calendar wouldn’t allow me to remove the reminder that June 1st was the “First Day of LGBTQ+ Pride Month.” I’ve already read one article by a friend alleging that non-affirming Christians (those who disagree with homosexuality) are perpetrators of violence, and I’ve had my fill of headlines about what depravity was featured at which parade. 

It’s easy to spot the turned milk there, but wait. Who did the Apostle Paul call ‘worthless’? In case you missed it, he said, “All.”

If my sin was put on parade, it would be ugly indeed. It would be worthless. Just pour me out to the cat.

Just like milk, we all have gone sour.

The coolers at my local Walmart often get too warm, and the milk inevitably sours. The temperature of our culture is heating up, and it is causing many of us to sour. The extremes of tepid acceptance and volatile hatred cause us to look anything but Christlike. We allow the externals to work upon our own sinful tendencies, and there we are, worthless again.

We used to get our milk from a local farmer, and I was very lazy about washing my milk buckets. When I put my milk into a dirty container, it did not take very long before it went sour. Many of us try to pour Christianity-lite into ourselves, like air into a blow-up doll, but we are dirty containers. Before the Holy Spirit can fill us, we must repent and be cleaned. It’s the only way the milk will last and be worthwhile!

Natural bacteria and time are the other sour milk culprits for every jug of milk. Our natural flesh is aging daily, and there’s nothing we can do to stop the process. However, even though what is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable! We need to put more stock in the heavenly things than the earthly things.

While it is true that we have all become worthless, turned like sour milk, when we are crucified with Christ, it is no longer we who live, but Christ who lives in us. Then, we can “do good,” offering serviceable kindness and truth in love just like Jesus did, allowing Him to transform sour milk into nourishment again.

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