The phrase “break the ice” is attributed to have its root in Sir Thomas North’s 1579 A.D. translation of Plutarch’s Lives of the noble Grecians and Romanes wherein he states “To be the first to break the Ice of the Enterprize.” and later in 1678 A.D., Samuel Butler recorded in the Hudibras “The Oratour – At last broke silence, and the Ice.” Lord Bryon in 1823 penned in his famous poem ‘Don Juan’ the following lines: “And your cold people are beyond all price, When once you’ve broken their confunded ice.”
To break the ice has come to mean “to break down social formalities and stiffness” but its original meaning was quite literal. Specialized polar exploration ships that were known as ice-breakers were equipped with reinforced hulls and strong engines to plow through frozen rivers, lakes and oceans, thereby allowing other boats and ships to pass and get to the other side of the bank/shore, wherein they could do business.
With the fall of man, man was separated from God as he was sent out of the garden of Eden, where he experienced relationship with God as a friend in conversation (Genesis 3) , and with every inclination of man’s thoughts turning evil (Genesis 6:5), this gap widened. The personal relationship and love that was experienced by our forefathers like Adam and Enoch (the seventh from Adam) had gone cold and the world became sinful on account of one man, the first Adam (Romans 5:12). It is as if the relationship gap between God and man got frozen. Yet, while we were still sinners, God reached out and sent forth his Son, Jesus Christ for us (Romans 5:8). Jesus Christ, broke the ice between God and man; Jesus Christ is God’s ice breaker. He made it possible for us to reach God and be engaged with him in his kingdom business.
Points to ponder:
We live in an age of “relationships” and social networking is rampant as evident from the plethora of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. accounts. Men and women desire to be in a relationship and seek partnerships to address the problem of their loneliness, but The One who can truly fill the void of loneliness is God himself, and none other. With an increase in man’s selfish desires and sinfulness, the relationship gap between God and man has been widening. Of late, it is unfortunately not uncommon to observe that the fiery love, man once had to God, has not only become lukewarm (Revelation 3:15) but in many situations cold as ice. No one is righteous; no not one (Romans 3:10) and God-haters and wickedness abounds. Even within the church, there is a lukewarmness, and sin itself is condoned, instead of being condemned. The love of many has grown (waxed) cold. Jesus warned of this very situation in the end days and he counseled us to be watchful, so that our love (for him and his people) does not wax cold (Matthew 24:12).
I once heard (Late) Dr. Praveen Mittapalli, a mentor and friend, say in a message he shared in our Church, “God has called us to be bold and chosen, but many of us are unfortunately cold and frozen.” God has broken the ice that while we were still sinners, God sent forth his son, Jesus Christ to die for us. If you have never have had a relationship with God, then tarry no further. All you need to do is simply believe in Jesus Christ, the ice breaker, Just come as you are and believe! For those of us who have believed in God’s son, Jesus Christ, let us not be lukewarm, cold or frozen, but let us reach out to him, by The Way of Jesus Christ, and be bold and chosen for him, partnering with God, being his co-laborer and engaging in God’s business of reconciling man with God.
Romans 5:8 (KJV)
8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Revelation 3:15-16 (KJV)
15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.