December 11, 2014 • By Ed Wrather
Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. - James 3:13-16 NKJV.
Also, if a garment has a leprous plague in it, whether it is a woolen garment or a linen garment, whether it is in the warp or woof of linen or wool, whether in leather or in anything made of leather, and if the plague is greenish or reddish in the garment or in the leather, whether in the warp or in the woof, or in anything made of leather, it is a leprous plague and shall be shown to the priest. - Leviticus 13:47-49 NKJV.
And he shall examine the plague; and indeed if the plague is on the walls of the house with ingrained streaks, greenish or reddish, which appear to be deep in the wall, then the priest shall go out of the house, to the door of the house, and shut up the house seven days. - Leviticus 14:37-38 NKJV.
There is a new tourist attraction in Varna, Bulgaria which is a seaside resort. The new attraction has nothing to do with fun in the sun on the sea. Instead, the new attraction is all about a cat, which is apparently friendly because it purrs. What makes this cat so special? The cat has turned green! Emerald green! It was thought at first that a cat hater or a group of cat haters had dyed the cat’s fur. There was even a facebook page set up seeking the perpetrators of this hateful action. Now it is known that the cat’s fur has become greener over time discounting the possibility of someone actually dying the animal. I’m wondering now how long it will be until the people of Varna begin to turn green too? That ought to be a real tourist attraction! (The Independent 12.08.14)
Green, as a color, has a better reputation in these days than it has had in past days. The “Hanging of the Green” is a frequently attended service at many churches in the United States at the beginning of the Christmas Season. I have been present at a few of those services and it can be very beautiful and meaningful. One church on their website actually says it is their most meaningful service of the year.
It was not long ago when the phrase “turning green with envy” was heard often. Why has there been a reduction in its use? “Green with envy” shows up in a Google search 790,000 times. The Urban Dictionary defines “green with envy” as: “Wishing very much that you had what someone else has. A longing to possess something awarded to or achieved by another.” But where did the phrase originate? I believe it came about because envy is a sin. In the Old Testament, there would often be a physical manifestation of sin called, leprosy (Having leprosy in these times does not mean that the person has sinned.). Leprosy, in the Old Testament was a vivid picture of the damage sin causes to a person and even to the possessions of a person. There was not only the leprosy of people, but also of clothing and of houses. Clothing with leprosy, and even houses with leprosy would sometimes turn, GREEN.
The Christmas Season, in some ways is also the envy season. When we see others who are able to give so much more to their families than we are, we envy. When we see others with homes more brightly decorated than ours, we envy. When we hear others tell about everything they are giving or have received in the way of Christmas presents, we envy. If our clothing or our houses could still turn green with leprosy, how many of us would be living in green houses wearing green clothes? Perhaps those of us who have so much, should be careful about how we show off what we have and what we give. Maybe it would make the Christmas Season, a little less GREEN, and a little less painful for those who do not have quite so much.