I’m preaching the human kidney on Sunday and I’m stuck…

Foundational Theological Presupposition – God designed and made the human body. Because he made it, it’s the best body possible for it’s God-given purpose.  Because he designed it, there’s a thinking in behind the design that – if we can grasp it – can teach something about who God is.  The kidney, therefore, as a unique part of the body, has something special to say about who God is; something different than the heart, lungs or liver. What is that?

And here’s where I’m stuck. When I asked a nephrologist/sermon researcher/friend about the nature of the kidney, he responded in part with this, “What really happens is 1,700 L [of blood] are seen by the kidney [daily], 180 L get through the filter inside the Nephron, then the good stuff that is needed gets taken out and you are left with anywhere from 0.5 -2.0 L per day of waste.”

The kidney removes toxins from the blood by filtering the good out (via the nephron – which we, incidentally, have a total of 60km of in our kidneys) and puts that good back into the system.  Kidneys filter out the good stuff and allow the bad stuff to flow through the bio-system and out of the body.  And this is where I’m stuck… “What’s best about a system that does it’s filtering this way; filtering out the good for re-introduction back into the blood, as opposed to filtering out the bad for removal?”

One thought is that this way of filtering never requires a filter change.  Oil filters – which capture the bad, storing it in the fibres of the filter – need to be changed regularly.  Kind of hard to do with a kidney.  But there’s something more that I can’t see yet… there’s something ‘just right’ about this way of removing toxins from the system, that can teach me something about how God’s Holy Spirit removes toxins from our systems (individually) and our system (corporately and cosmically).  What’s right about taking what’s already right and feeding it back into the system?  And what does this say about who God is?

4 thoughts on “I’m preaching the human kidney on Sunday and I’m stuck…

  1. Karen M.

    I believe that God is not a wasteful God and recycles where he can. He is allowing us to be cleansed daily and then gives us another chance to live our best day. Whatever happened the day before, there is another chance to make it better.

  2. Mara

    I think it is metaphorically like how in the Old Testament we have the whole book of Leviticus full of “SHALL NOTs” Did you ever try the old don’t think about pink elephants thing. Leviticus should come with a parental guidance warning sticker. Trying to weed out the sins as they happen is like trying to catch dust motes.

    On the other hand Jesus comes along and keeps things simple and positive. Thou shalt Love God above all else and treat your neighbour the way you want to be treated (Better even). Basically he takes fewer positive rules of pursuing positive good behaviour and says “Now go mix with the people and don’t sink to their level no matter what.”

  3. Blanka

    What about the salt analogy, Pastor John? A small amount can have a big and good effect. But it’s important to ensure that not too much good stuff gets concentrated. Too much sodium (salt) can be a bad thing. Or what about the idea of picking the best bits out of a mish-mash of stuff? The way I might save the bits of meat from a boiled chicken carcass to serve with the soup but throw out the bones.

  4. Kayleigh S.

    Maybe it’s sort of like the way there is already good and God-breathed truth around us all… but we can’t always see it. Maybe it’s about trying to filter that good out instead of focusing on the bad and trying to filter it out. Maybe it’s about letting the good continue to filter into us from whatever source it comes. Maybe it’s about God continuing to renew our hearts and spirits by allowing the good to flourish, to get stronger.
    Not sure I’m getting it across plainly. To me it sends a message to remind me to focus on the good, what God is already doing, instead of pointing fingers and labelling things and being afraid of what is seen as “bad.” This is God’s world, what have we to be afraid of if we see his face?

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