God Works. We Have Hope!

Monday, November 15, 2021

As the Snow Covers Everything Announcing Winter’s Dark-Cold’s A’comin’

We Remember God’s Work in Our Past

And Know

That Spring Will Come.

So God Will Melt Our Hard Hearts

To Give Us New Life.

Ezekiel 36:36

Then the nations that are left all around you shall know that I, the Lord, have rebuilt the ruined places, and replanted that which was desolate; I, the Lord, have spoken, and I will do it.

Acts 11:20-21

But among them were some men of Cyprus and Cyrene who, on coming to Antioch, spoke to the Hellenists also, proclaiming the Lord Jesus. The hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number became believers and turned to the Lord.

Words of Grace For Today

God works.

We work.

When God works we often do not see anything happen.

When we work, especially in committees, we often do not see anything happen.

When I work and I don’t see anything happen as a result, it’s a bad, bad day, because my work is all the about the basics of staying alive: gathering wood, building shelter, building systems to support life, hauling supplies like water and food, cutting and splitting wood, feeding the ‘monster’ wood so it produces heat, repairing systems that support life that will stop supporting life if they are not fixed or already have not only stopped but started to endanger life because they are broken, reading and writing so that my spirit does not succumb to my enemies attacks on me, praying, celebrating, resting and sleeping (though the last are hardly work per se.)

When God works, and we open our eyes, sometimes we see the results: nations are moved, mountains are levelled or reformed, planets and stars are created or destroyed or transformed, hearts are enlivened after being hard as granite, people eat and drink and celebrate who were thirsting and starving to death, people are healed and given new life, saints are called home and given their reward for eternity, and the beauty of creation comes crashing into our minds transforming us from despairing to caught in wonder.

When we work and we see results, our efforts and results are minuscule in comparison. We sell things to people with pets, or without. We buy things that we need or do not need. We use or abuse resources and are renewable or non-renewable. We pollute ourselves to death burning coal and natural gas, consuming disposable plastics, or setting radioactive atoms to react hopefully always in a controlled manner but that is not our record. We set people against people with weapons capable of destroying whole populations and de-storying masses (genocide.) We construct highways and airplanes and rocket-ships that invite people to increase their carbon footprint – because ‘it’s there.’ We build cities that will flood as the planet warms and the oceans rise, a result of our carbon mega-footprints and billions of smaller footprints that add up to more than than our host planet can accommodate without changing even that which we rely on for life. And our ‘marvellous’ accomplishments fill a listing that seems endless … and always has an end that reads ‘which leads to the extinction of humans on planet earth, and before that the cessation of human and animal life as we know it.’

Is there any hope for us?

Is there any hope for planet earth?

Is there any hope?

Thank God, God responds to our destructive, sinful ways of working by promising: I, the Lord, will have rebuilt the ruined places, and replanted that which was desolate!

God works … and it is always good.

We work … and it is almost always destructive … unless God directs and we cooperate as the Holy Spirit moves in and through us.

Is there any hope?

Only because of God’s promises to be Gracious with us … again and again and again. And when God works it happens, sometimes from the most surprising corners of the earth as foreigners come to share the Good News with us, we who hunger and thirst to hear and know the old, old story is for us, too.

Knowing Love … Being Love

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

One Last Canoe Ride

Before the Snow Blows In.

A Long Autumn,

Climate Change Again.

Jeremiah 18:14-15

Does the snow of Lebanon leave the crags of Sirion? Do the mountain waters run dry, the cold flowing streams? But my people have forgotten me, they burn offerings to a delusion; they have stumbled in their ways, in the ancient roads, and have gone into bypaths, not the highway.

John 15:9

As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love.

Words of Grace For Today

The snow today, which has collected as glaciers for hundreds of years, now does melt away, faster and faster. We, with our carbon footprint so huge, have discombobulated nature’s way. The mountain waters do run dry where they have not in memory done so before.

Just as we have messed with nature’s balances, so we have imbalanced our own lives, living as slaves of delusions, voluntarily enslaving ourselves to wealth, power, status, and the illusion that we are better than others whom we ruin on our way through life.

There is another way to live.

As God loves Jesus, so Jesus loves us. When we humbly accept that there is nothing else so important in life as being loved by God, and returning that love (by sharing God’s love with all other people) then we live as we are created to live and we contribute to the balance of nature. We do not just lower our carbon footprint. We drastically change how we live and what we expect from life in order to drastically lower our carbon footprint, and we reach as many people as we can to inspire them to do the same.

Maybe some people think that all those who enslave themselves to wealth, power, status and delusions will respond to messages of the impending doom we are creating for ourselves. It rarely works, for their closed looped thought processes cannot calculate how to serve their chosen masters and respond to the impending doom for us all. Instead they ramp up their delusions to accumulate more wealth, power, status, and their favourite delusion in order to convince themselves that the impending doom will not impact them. It will, but deluded they believe it will not, just as Covidiots and Covid deniers and antivaxxers who lay dying of Covid still refuse to believe they have Covid or that they can be dying. They die a painful death, and an avoidable death, leaving so many Covidiots and Covid deniers and antivaxxers ready to carry on in their footsteps.

This is not a good life, and certainly not a good death.

Knowing God loves us, knowing that God knows us completely and blesses us by walking with us, and knowing the Holy Spirit makes us able to love others and walk with them through life’s challenges, rewards, and losses … knowing God’s love gives us hope. And hope gives us life renewed each morning.

For this we can give God endless thanks and praise … and we can be filled with joy, no matter what our enemies do to us. It does not get better.

Self-Pity for Our ‘Little Bush’

Sunday, October 3, 2021

These Trees Will Soon Fall to Erosion by the Lakeshore

Shall We Consume Ourselves in Lament for Them?

Or

Get about Bringing Climate Change to an End?

And Pandemics?

Shall We End Them

Before They End Us?

Jonah 4:10-11

Then the Lord said, ‘You are concerned about the bush, for which you did not labour and which you did not grow; it came into being in a night and perished in a night. And should I not be concerned about Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who do not know their right hand from their left, and also many animals?’

James 5:11

Indeed we call blessed those who showed endurance. You have heard of the endurance of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.

Words of Grace For Today

We ought to be concerned (as God tells Jonah) not just for our little ‘tree’, our little corner of life. Rather we MUST be concerned for the whole nation, or rather, the whole earth.

Make that we ought to be alarmed in concern for the whole world.

Climate change is still denied by politicians, as if it would go away, as if is somehow not so clear that ‘the planet is angry at us’ as last year’s extremes are this year’s normals, and this year’s extremes are next year’s normals. Soon it will be last month’s extremes become this month’s normals … and on until we will have an impossible task of finding refuge on our own planet, anywhere.

The pandemic, Covid 19 is in it’s fourth wave in North America, and we seem to be preparing to suffer worse pandemics, perhaps even simultaneous pandemics, in the very near future … our future. No more of the ‘one pandemic in a century or so’. And we remain fully unprepared and unwilling to prepare and do what is necessary to prepare. We have leaders who ‘wish’ this Covid-19 away, and in doing so invite an even more brutal wave upon us all.

See the article in the Atlantic by Ed Yong https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2021/09/america-prepared-next-pandemic/620238/ if you wish to read it put even more bluntly.

We can certainly trust that God is compassionate and merciful and we can use Job’s endurance as a role model. Doch! We ought not invite such great need for God’s compassion and mercy, nor for Job-like endurance, down upon so many of the earth’s whopping 7.4 billion and growing population.

We may not have planned this population overburdening of the planet, but we certainly knew it was coming and we collectively did very little about it, least nothing effective!

Sitting ‘where our bush used to give us shade,’ wallowing in our self-pity does no one any good. We need to get up and proclaim the Good News and God’s judgment for ‘Nineveh,’ whatever that will look like for us. We pray that we may see God at work as God worked through Jonah’s speaking to Nineveh!

No one would dare to venture on such a mission, without trusting God’s grace, abundant and endless, flowing for us all.

So what are we waiting for?

Not On Our Own!

Monday, September 13, 2021

All that Grows

Grows as God’s Blessing

for All

Isaiah 45:8

Shower, O heavens, from above, and let the skies rain down righteousness; let the earth open, that salvation may spring up, and let it cause righteousness to sprout up also; I the Lord have created it.

2 Corinthians 9:10

He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.

Words of Grace For Today

After a cold hard-frozen winter, the thaw of spring arrives giving respite for hearts and bodies. As the cool spring days lengthen melting the snow pack, the ground thaws and seeds await the soft May rains and warm sun to germinate, we anticipate the new growth of wild and cultured seeds into plants to provide food for the many creatures of the earth, including us humans.

We trust that God will provide, in these days, throughout the whole earth, enough warmth, sun, and soft rain to feed the 7.4 billion humans who inhabit the earth. Climate change challenges the growth of enough to feed us all, though even in the many years when there is enough to feed everyone, we fail to distribute the food to all so that no one goes hungry. Indeed millions starve each year!

Food to eat is essential to life.

As we see each day, food is not enough. Food is not even the most essential thing for life. Much more essential is that we live in God’s blessings and respond to God’s Grace with justice based on truth, loving words and actions based on righteousness, and unconditional love for all people (a love that reflects God’s grace for us sinners).

Often our work, on Christ’s behalf in this world, is often described with images of seeds sprouting, growing, and producing a harvest to feed all people.

So it is that, while we give our greatest will and efforts towards fulfilling Christ’s call to reflect God’s love for us in our efforts for all people, we know that we cannot complete this work on our own. In fact, just as the seeds do not exist, nor can they begin to germinate, until God provides warm sun and sufficient moisture (not to mention that in previous years the harvest must have produced enough to provide seeds for the new spring.)

So we pray, God, creator of all that is, plant in us the seeds of righteousness, that with the warmth of Christ’s Light and the moisture in the Holy Spirit’s breathing into us, your Word may grow in us, and that our lives (our thoughts, words and actions) may reflect what we cannot even see on our own, namely your love and grace for all people.

God Blesses Us Despite What We Do!

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

A Beaver

Giving Warning.

Do We Heed God’s Warnings? NO!

Yet God Continues to Bless Us!

Psalm 91:14

Those who love me, I will deliver; I will protect those who know my name.

1 John 3:21-22

Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have boldness before God; and we receive from him whatever we ask, because we obey his commandments and do what pleases him.

Words of Grace For Today

Julie and Greg sought refuge from the heat, well over 35⁰ each day from 8:00 to 20:00 or later making sleeping difficult, and at best restless. The packed up their little camper behind the truck and headed out to a lake more than an hour away, since all the campgrounds at other lake closer were overfilled. There was no proper campground, just crown land where random camping was allowed.

They were hardly the first to arrive, and most of the possible sites were filled and overfilled with others seeking relief from the heat and being cooped up for more than a year with the covid19 restrictions. With luck, or was it a pure blessing, they arrived just minutes after another family left one of the furthest campsites, one set among birch trees on a hill more than 50 feet above the lake. They settled in and carried their canoe down near the four log steps to the water.

For a week they ‘enjoyed’ temperatures that did not climb above 32⁰ and nights that cooled off after sunset at 21:30 to the high teens, making sleeping a wonderful and restful reprieve. The first few days they recovered and found wonder in the relative cool nights, and the canoe outings during the hottest part of the day into the cooler air above the water. They knew that God had delivered them.

Then they became accustom to the reprieve, and noticed the challenges of camping: the swarms of mosquitoes morning and evening made being outside less than comfortable, the flies that chewed small chunks right out of their arms, checks and even eyelids, and the bees and wasps whose stings they were allergic to. Then there were the late night parties from the other parts of the campground that seemed to never end until the sun rose; a downside of uncontrolled camping producing loud music and fireworks at all late hours! The quads, dirt bikes, and side by sides chewed up the dirt right before their camper, blowing exhaust into their camper at any hour. They became complainers instead of giving God thanks.

Saturday afternoon all that complaining ended with a real danger. The emergency broadcast service rang out from their cell phones: a tornado warning! A funnel was sighted moving fast NW just 30 miles away to the SW of their precious campsite. There was no basement or building to hide in against the SW wall. They did what they could. They pulled their hand-made cedar strip canoe high away from the lake and secured it among some strong trees and bush. The parked the truck on the lakeside of the camper, opened it’s windows and all the windows on the camper (to prevent the severe drop and rise in air pressure from blowing up either the truck or camper.) Taking a larger tarp they found where a tree’s roots had been ripped out leaving a depression, laid down the tarp, sat and laid in on it, and covered themselves with the tarp to protect themselves from the rain that pelted sideways at them in the high wind.

The last thing they saw before covering themselves was a funnel approach the other side of the lake, tossing trees out of it’s path like toothpicks, and throwing a great blinding spray of water that hid everything from sight as it came across the lake. The deafening sound grew until it went totally quiet, not from lack of sound but from the pressure built in their eardrums that made hearing anything impossible. In their bones they felt instead of heard the roar, the explosions and earth shaking thuds, and then the stillness ….

When they uncovered themselves all the trees for 100 yards in all directions were gone, in their place were shreds of logs piled in places like matchsticks poured out of their box by a child playing with danger.

They walked back to where they had laid their canoe. Miraculously the trees were gone, but the bush remained covering their untouched, precious canoe. In that same moment they recognized behind a jumble of logs their camper, and then their truck, both untouched by the destruction.

In the rest of the random campground 4 people were killed, 10 others injured, and many vehicles and camping units were damaged or totally destroyed. Some trees, though not many, remained standing as before. The shoreline was hidden beneath a mess of bush, logs, and the remains of boats that had been in the water or on shore. Julie and Greg used their truck to transport 8 people to the hospital and then a second trip with the other 2 less severely injured and 2 bodies they had found.

For weeks after both Julie and Greg, knowing that their sins were many and varied, knew that many days they had done nothing to please God, yet God had delivered them. They were alive. Their precious canoe, truck, and camper were undamaged. They were the only family camping that completely escaped damage or injury of some kind. They did not deserve this, so they gave God thanks, with words each morning and night, and with acts of kindness for others, helping others recover property, and cleaning up the camping area as they could. Somehow the heat that had returned, the mosquitoes, flies, bees and wasps that continued to swarm, and the parties that people somehow continued to hold each evening made little difference.

The goodness of life itself outshone all the challenges, obstacles, and ugliness around them.

Julie and Greg knew that God blessed them not because of what they had done, or not done, but simply because God so chose to bless them. They learned, slowly as the blessed shock of surviving unscathed, how to reflect God’s blessings in their daily lives, how to maintain their gratitude for each breathe and moment of life, and how to shine undeserved grace to other people.

Even scripture, given to humans to write, can be wrong when it somehow conveys that God blesses us because we obey his commandments and do what pleases God.

First God blesses us. Then like Julie and Greg we slowly learn to obey and do what pleases God. And we inevitably revert to our old ways of complaining about life and doing all things only for ourselves, until God surprises us with an undeserved blessing, so that we slowly learn again to obey and do what please God…. Until we inevitably revert to our old ways … and God surprises us again and again with undeserved blessings.

Precious to Whom?

Sunday, July 18, 2021

In the Heat of (Climate Change Ever More Extreme) Summer

God Remembers Us

And the Many Paths Our Machines Have Made

In the Cool of Winter.

‘Chill’

God Recommends We

‘Chill.’

2 Samuel 7:22

Therefore you are great, O Lord God; for there is no one like you, and there is no God besides you, according to all that we have heard with our ears.

Revelation 1:17-18

When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he placed his right hand on me, saying, ‘Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living one. I was dead, and see, I am alive for ever and ever; and I have the keys of Death and of Hades.

Words of Grace For Today

In this rough and wild world of self-interested cheats and liars all, it is good to know one’s friends well and to have friends in high places, very high places.

No better friend than God, for there is no one like God, no god besides God, whether we’ve heard it or not!

The trouble with human friends is that when they get to be in high places, they cannot be trusted not to turn on you for their own interests of staying in high places, or demanding dirty little favours of you to help them stay in high places.

God does no such thing. We need not fear that God will turn on us, or turn us into petty criminals doing God’s dirty work so that God can remain God. God has no such concerns, for God has not stepped up higher than is God’s place (like some friends do, and all people in high places have done!)

God does no such thing. Instead God assures us we need not fear God’s Power and Might. God has turned that all powerful, all-mightyful reality toward resolving all that would destroy us.

God chose to be born as one of us, weak and vulnerable to corrupt powers that pretend to be more than they are, just as many of our judges and police and politicians do today. God suffered a terrible death at their hands, and defied their ‘power’ and the real power of death and evil itself! All so that we can live free of such fears, of petty powers and of real destructive powers of evil and even of death itself.

That’s what a real good friend in the very high places (and the low places and everywhere in between) does for us.

We must be some extraordinary precious!

Breathe in that reality!

We are precious to the Ultimate Most Powerful One!

What a life!

What are we going to do with it, that’s the question for each of us each day!

Being God’s Message

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

One cloud alone

reflects God’s light

at sunset.

As Two Clouds

‘walk’ the sky ‘hand in hand’,

So we walk in God’s light

with others in love,

as God walks with us.

Psalm 79:9

Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of your name; deliver us, and forgive our sins, for your name’s sake.

1 John 4:10

In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.

Words of Grace For Today

The beginning of every moment, every event, every situation, every life, every day … of every every is God’s Love.

God’s Love that created a universe with life in it, and us as life self-aware in among the many forms of life,

God’s Love that gave us freedom to love, and therefore freedom to not-love (that is: to sin),

God’s Love that holds the universe together (whether it’s String Theory or particles and strings, it’s all God’s Love),

God’s Love that holds life together, even our lives, giving us our daily needs, including meaningful labour and the ability to love and be loved,

God’s Love that gives us God’s answer to our sins: forgiveness and renewed life,

God’s Love that walks with us each moment of each day, even when we walk ourselves into the hell of the Evil One’s influence (as God’s Love keeps us walking right out the other side of hell back into life abundant),

God’s Love … it is the every every of our lives.

God loves us not for our sakes as if we somehow became more valuable and the purpose of the universe just because God loves us. Rather God loves us for God’s name’s sake, for God’s message about God to be seen and heard by all people through God’s grace acted out for us in forgiveness.

God forgives us and we receive life again. The rest of all humans, those long since have lived on earth, those that live now, and those that will live, receive a clear message about God: God loves people. God loves us. And God loves them!

We get to screw our lives, because we are going to anyway, and because we become the raw material for God’s communication to all humans: God’s clear message that God loves us, and that God’s Love is the beginning of all, it is the every of all, and it is the end of all in all (the purpose and the result and the finality – the end of all time for each human as well as that for all humans.)

Until then we are privileged to be the message of God’s Love for all people: that we are forgiven and renewed, and that we can live for others, as Jesus lived for others, that all people may have life, and life abundant!

So it is that we enjoy the reprieve from the record-breaking, sweltering heat of climate change that sat over us last week with the cool more common in autumn.

So it is that we prepare for the next days of heat, hopefully not record-breaking.

So it is that we learn to enjoy winter all that much more, and especially autumn, after the bugs are gone and before everything freezes requiring more wood for a modicum of warmth inside.

So it is that we enjoy having an ‘inside’ that can be heated against the cold outside.

So it is that we enjoy everything about life, and find pure joy in a breath of fresh air, a stormy day, and a calm morning sunrise … as we wait for our last sunset that comes to harvest every mortal creature … knowing God’s Love walks with us each precious day and will walk with us also then.

Until that day our purpose is to be the message for all humans, that God loves us all!

In this is love, not that we loved God but that God loved us and sent God’s only Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.

Sunscreen or Sonscreen?

Wednesday, June9, 2021

The Golden Light of Christ

Shines in Every Darkness

Bringing Breath

and

Life Abundant

Isaiah 60:17

Instead of bronze I will bring gold, instead of iron I will bring silver; instead of wood, bronze, instead of stones, iron. I will appoint Peace as your overseer and Righteousness as your taskmaster.

Hebrews 2:1

Therefore we must pay greater attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it.

Words of Grace For Today

Isaiah 60 begins:

Arise, shine; for your light has come,
   and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
For darkness shall cover the earth,
   and thick darkness the peoples;
but the Lord will arise upon you,
   and his glory will appear over you.
Nations shall come to your light,
   and kings to the brightness of your dawn.

That is the context of the advancement that God will provide to the people, no longer merely stones, doch God will provide also iron. No longer merely iron, doch God will provide also silver. No longer merely wood, doch God will provide also bronze. No longer merely bronze, doch God will also provide gold.

The story continues through history as God provides more and more materials, until alloys, plastics, composites, rare metals, and oil abound in our lives.

We want more and more. By our wanting more and more, using and burning more and more oil for example, we will bring upon ourselves the darkness that will cover the earth.

Isaiah could not have foreseen what we would do, though Isaiah saw clearly what people are capable of. The story of God’s people was and is and always will be that the people are blessed by God with an abundance beyond our basic needs, we exploit the blessings, perverting it into all that is against God and God’s creation – and against the people, even God’s people, us! So we turn from God. We lose God’s blessings and end up in exile, ruled by others who are perverse and evil.

God does not leave us there. God’s love is steadfast, even if, and especially when, our love of God and God’s creation is so fickle. God comes to forgive us.

That is the message of Isaiah. The people are in exile, ruled and exploited and assimilated by other people of other power.

They hear Isaiah’s words.

The darkness is coming over all the earth, doch God will bring light to God’s people and all the people of the earth will search for, and come to bask in, that light. For it is the Light of life.

Again and again God’s Word sets God’s people free, as the Word of Life, Jesus the Christ did for those who believed in him in those early generations after his crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension. So also Jesus frees us that we may live abundantly.

We need no more than the very bare basics of life. Sometimes we live more abundantly with no extras, no luxuries, none of the usual comforts that so many see as ‘givens’ for life today in the western world. Without the extras we must focus on the necessities, and we soon learn that while the physical requirements to stay alive are significantly important (especially to the billions who do not have them), the requirement of life abundant is not more and more and more.

It is to give, to give, to give to God and God’s people.

It is to serve, to serve, to serve God and God’s people.

It is to love, to love, to love God and God’s people.

It is to forgive, to forgive, to forgive, and to forgive even more all of God’s people.

It is a true blessing from God when we are able to remain fully cognizant of that, even while we are so easily distracted struggling for the basics of life, or more fully distracted by the false promises of a ‘good life’ achieved by having more and more and more.

So we pray that we will give greater and greater attention to what we have heard of the old, old story of Jesus and his love, so that we do not drift away from being the ones who share that Good News with all people, bringing the Light of Life into the darkness that has descended upon so many people in so many places, in so many hearts consuming so many minds. We are to revive those hearts lost to darkness, those minds consumed by the dark.

The Light of Life is here. See it. Receive it. Share it. Bask it in. No sonscreen is needed.

Desires of Birds, Bees, Beasts, and Fish

Thursday, May 6, 2021

God’s Value

Is Everything.

God Values

Every Thing and Being

In Creation.

Psalm 145:15-16

The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season. You open your hand, satisfying the desire of every living thing.

Luke 12:22-24

Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!’

Words of Grace For Today

I am not sure about this:

You open your hand, satisfying the desire of every living thing.

We humans have a way of ‘desiring’ so much more no matter how much we have.

Further the birds, bees, and beasts, and not to forget the fish, struggle under the effects of our ‘possessing the land’, ‘dominating it’, and destroying ecosystems that have taken millions of years to establish!

So?

The truth is God created the world quite capable of sustaining all the life created on it, satisfying the desire of every living thing. God promises to provide for the needs those desires are given to life of all kinds, in order that all life can continue on God’s good earth.

That includes our desires that God gave us so that we could continue to live among all the life on this planet.

How did we screw it up so badly!?!

Well, God loved us, wanted us to be able to love, which means we need to be able to choose to love or not, and …

Well so much of the time we humans have chosen, do choose, and forever will choose to do other than love! Youch, what a price!

We are destroying what provides us the ability to live on earth! It’ll take us maybe 100 or so, maybe only 25 or 5 years, to unmake the earth capable of sustaining life, something God created in 6 days, or millions of years measured in our time.

What power we have … to destroy!

And what power we have, as well, to love, when we so choose. Choosing to love is possible, for any one, for every one, of us … though only as God makes us able.

The beginning of God making us able is to promise that God values us greatly. Knowing that we can choose to act responsibly and responsively to that unconditional, life-giving and life-renewing love!

God willing and ‘the creek not rising’ (maybe it ought to be ‘the oceans not rising’) we may still live on planet earth in 1000 years and more!

God’s Word started this all. God’s Word sustains us all. Certainly God’s Word is able to bring us to that miracle of miracles.

So what are we going to do today, with God’s love?

Baptized Into Christ’s Death for Life

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!

Jeremiah 23:3

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.

Luke 15:4

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.