Tuesday, January 12, 2021
The Wild that Needs Taming
is not out there.
It’s in our minds and hearts.
We and the Wilderness and all Creation need healing!
Then I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the lands where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply.
Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it?
Words of Grace For Today
This past Sunday we celebrated the Baptism of Jesus, and our own baptisms. For what purpose are we baptized into God’s flock, into God’s family together as children?
What was God planning, when God gathered the remnant back into the fold and let them be fruitful and multiply?
Back then of course land was abundant, people scarce. Survival as a people required increasing the population enough to fend off enemies.
Now the earth is overrun by humans, multiplying out of control. Wild lands are difficult to find, precious when they are, and seldom well protected from being overrun by mining, oil extraction, clear cutting, paving over, filling in the swamps (nature’s water filtration system), and generally developing them so that they serve human short term interests at the cost of our long term survival.
Covid 19 is only nature’s latest reaction to us way-too-many humans putting un-survivable stress on the ecosystems of creation.
Very few of us have ever been close to having 100 sheep. The image still is clear. Even the most cantankerous, stubborn one among many is precious to God. So precious that God goes away from the flock grazing together in the wilderness in order to pursue that hard headed one … ok to be honest that ‘one’ is each one of us at some time or another – sometimes quite often.
Baptized, we are God’s people. It is too easy to write off people who stray from reality, God’s reality of Grace. It is very sensible to write off those who attack us to destroy us … better that than to go on the offensive to destroy all our enemies. (That policy relentlessly pursued always ends with only one survivor.) God does not let us abandon even our worst enemies. Instead God sends us, away from the flock, the safety we find in our lives, and God gives us the task of rescuing, with God’s Grace, the one stubborn, cantankerous one, even if that is our worst enemy.
God does not kill our enemies. God transforms them into one of God’s children … through our kindness and grace.
We can understand that Covid 19 is not God’s plan to reduce the human population by killing off so many of us.
It is surely a wake up call. Creation needs us to be responsible and work to reduce the human population and right now, to preserve what wilderness and swamps and forest lands and arctic tundra and rain-forest and savannas that are left … before none are left, and to save the many species who are threatened today with extinction.
Hard choices. Wake up. Help us all make them starting today, before there is no more today for us all. That certainly is not God’s choice for us, but God does not limit our choices; we are free to destroy ourselves and the earth’s ecosystems … and we are well on our way.
Or we can behave together as the baptized saints that God makes us to be.