Key Word:- BECOME
Title:- Milk Monitors
1 Corinthians 3:2,3 I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; for you are still carnal.
In Britain after WWII and following the 1945 General Election, the then new Prime Minister, Clement Attlee, appointed Ellen Wilkinson as Minister of Education, the first woman in British history to hold the post.
A previous investigation in 1937 proved there was a link between low income, malnutrition and under achievement in schools. So, in 1946, Wilkinson, who had long been a campaigner against poverty, managed to persuade Parliament to pass the School Milk Act, thus ordering the issue of one-third of a pint of milk, free to all pupils under the age of eighteen. My age means that I was a beneficiary of this magnificent deed and I can still remember the sickly smell of morning milk time.
Milk most definitely had a seasonal taste and texture back then, for in summer the red plastic crates of milk would stand in the yard until morning break and by that time, the upper half of the bottle was warm and creamy, whilst the lower half was somewhat cool. In winter of course, the summer inversion was reversed and sometimes, the iced up top layer of milk would lift the tin silver red foil right off the top of the small glass bottle and the cold watery ice crystals left floating in the fluid, inflicted brain burn as it slurped and slipped its way down reluctant throats. Winter or summer, all those tin foil tops would eventually be washed off ‘en masse’ and saved in a bag for future ‘art work’. The smell of that strange mixture of old white school glue and bits of sour milk remaining on the red and silver tin foil tops, still hangs in the back of my throat making me gag even today when I think on it. This morning ritual of white top-lipped moustaches and milk burping boys did however for millions of British children carry with it the possibility of a vast place of power and dignity. Well it did, if you became the ‘Milk Monitor!’
The job of ‘Milk Monitor’ was a most prestigious honour. Like some foreign war correspondent standing on an aircraft carrier counting the war birds departing and arriving, with the same grave countenance the milk monitor would count all the bottles out and count them all back again, empty. In those days no one had heard of lactose intolerance. You literally had to just suck it up, stop whining and get on and drink your milk, every last drop! I remember for some, getting down that creamy or ice-cold milk was an indescribable and daily ordeal, but the milk monitor showed no mercy.
Government cut backs got rid of the free milk and despite the obvious health concerns, pizza, burgers and fries are now the most popular meals at school. The old fashioned thinking brought free milk to growing children, but the new enlightenment brings choice, tolerance café style menus and condoms. Sexually transmitted disease, teenage obesity and madness in the classroom, sometimes even at the end of pipe bombs and bullets, are on the menu in many schools today. It seems education and child care have come a long way since WWII.
In our text today, Paul berates the childish Corinthians. The need for growing kids to receive milk was an obvious necessity. In this case, the milk was the basic tenets of Christianity. However, that was a for a time and by now, the Corinthians should be way, way beyond that; Christ having been more fully formed in them even, but no, they were not full of either the Word or the Spirit. The Corinthians were carnal.
Carnal is an old fashioned word I know, but it still carries with it the intended mockery and shame of its first intended use. The Corinthian Christians, were people who should have been strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. They were Christians who should have had the eyes of their heart opened wider. They were Christians who should have had their heads lifted up to heaven, but were in fact weak Christians of narrow gaze, still focused on their petty little life of sinful and silly self. They were CARNAL! They missed out on their milk at an early age and were now manifesting all the associated spiritual nutritional deficiencies! Christians with Rickets rarely walk well.
Maybe the church needs some new milk monitors for a while eh? Just to make sure we suck it up, get it down and keep it there. In the end, milk is of more value to you than Pizza and fries will ever be. The one will strengthen your heart and bones whilst the other stuff will clog up your arteries and make your knees weak. Let me ask you today then, how are your heart and knees my dearly beloved friends? Maybe it’s time to find an udder way of growing? Maybe its time to avoid all post-modern pizza specialities? Maybe its time for some of you ricketty Christians to get back to a basic milk diet?
Listen:- Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this we will do if God permits. Hebrews 6:1-3
Pray:- Lord, if needs be, please take me back to the basics and build up my bent out of shape bones, amen.