It must be the preacher in me. So often things in nature, in life, in movies or a show, reach out to me with the Truth of God’s Word. At church, before the sermon, someone may put something in ‘The Mystery Bag” and I am challenged to preach a 4 or 5 minute impromptu sermonette to the children about whatever it is I may find there. The kids seem to love it. The principle is that since God is the Creator, everything created must tell His story. I find that is true in all of life.
This spring there was a high water occurrence do to heavy spring rains. We have been blessed with a small creek in the back yard, running down the middle of the property , normally home to striped minnows, crayfish, and the occasional frog. This spring the high water brought some unexpected guests. From the pond at the top of the hill came some Bluegills. Some of you may know them as blue-gilled Sunfish, or bream. They had been swept down stream, over a 12 foot waterfall past the rocks and downed trees, and ended up in a small dammed area in the back yard.
Blue gills are not native stream dwellers. They live naturally in ponds and lakes, where the water is warmer and still. They are not streamlined like trout, which are designed by the Creator to cut through currents and live in cold moving water. Their color helps them to blend with the weeds and grass of a shoreline, but betrays them in a free stone stream. If my wife and I did not feed them they would never survive, and if we did not protect them the Great White Herons would have had a wonderful meal. I’ll not soon forget the image of a 3 to 4 foot high bird in a larch tree giving my wife dirty bird looks, as she scolded it for trying to get its lunch at stately Willohroots Manor. They have grown on their diet of bread and scrambled eggs. I guess we could eat them, or ignore them and let the high water or ice take them to their doom, but they have given us much pleasure this year, as we have enjoyed watching them through crystal clear water as they fed and swam around. Abandoning them now would be very out of character for Dawn and I. This weekend we are going to scoop them up and give them a car ride back to the pond where they belong, so that they can live with their fellow pond-dwellers in safety and security, safe from the ravages of winter.
Do you see the sermon in this yet?
This world is not our home. It is a cold place where we are buffeted with the currents of the stream of things far beyond our control. We are for a time in a damned place, damned by our disobedience to to merciful God, living in a place where the adversary prowls like a roaring lion waiting to devour us, where ravenous birds of the air prey upon the seeds of the Gospel that have no firm root in good soil.
Were it not for the protection and provision of a kind and loving Creator we would perish. This Creator so loved us that He walked among us, being for a time, a little fish in a great pond, not choosing to rule, but to teach and guide us to repentance and love. We have grown, even in this hostile environment, by his provision, and he who has started a good work in us would never abandon us to the flood and the chilling cold of a time when His warming love is absent from the stream of history. We hope we have given him pleasure with the sacrifice of our Worship, and our feeble attempts to imitate Him. He has promised to gather us up, all of us, the living and the dead, and take us to a place of warmth and eternal provision, where we can be with others of our kind in a place protected from all assault and deprivation. He will not do this because of what we have done, but because that is His Nature, and His promises are sure.
Somehow that fish symbol means a bit more to me today.
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