Date: 09 Sep 2002
The Lord is a Farmer John, Always planting and providing fruitful seasons so we can reap bountiful harvests, however history shows that His children often turn out to be unfaithful in their sevice and in their greed and lust shed innocent blood.
Today in this great land the cry of the oppressed has reached the Throne of God and the idolatry, sorcery, and shedding of blood in the high places is seen by the Lord.
My question is in light of the Sept 11th attach on America, does this passage apply us today. If you disagree, why should we be any different than Isreal was?
Secondly, if it does, and we are not seeing the hand of God in this and returning as a people to Him, can we expect to be trampled underfoot?
Date: 29 Sep 2002
Wow. I've read this text before, but always before it has been in the context of the failure of Israel to be God's people.
Today, I see it as our failure to be God's people. It's so easy to point the finger of blame at others, but not so easy to see it in ourselves.
On the other hand...
Maybe we need to remember that we are not the first generation of vines planted in good soil. We are the inheritors of the wild grapes. We live in a world overgrown with briers (briars?) and thorns.
Pure justice is not possible in this world of thorns and drought. We can work for justice as far as we are able, but we can not obtain it on our own, and probably will not until all creation is renewed in the resurrection.
Bloodshed, sometimes our own, spread out on the ground of an unjust world... and God sees it.
Date: 02 Oct 2002
Thank you for your thoughts, and for "The inheritors of wild grapes" -- wish I'd seen that before I turned in the title for my message Sunday (somehow it fits the Gospel as well).
"World overgrown with briars and thorns." "World of thorns and drought." Hmmmm -- I think my message for Sunday took a left turn in there somewhere, and I'm not altogether certain where it will lead. But the caretakers of God's vineyard have certainly let it get a little shabby. For some reason, I find myself thinking of "The Secret Garden" and the delight of the beautiful garden reborn. An image for the future, perhaps?
MDWELPIS in Washington State
Once when I was a girl I visited the XIT Ranch in Texas. There I found real live cowboys! They really rode the plains daily -- looking for stray cattle to round up, repairing broken fences, fixing windmills so tanks would be full of water, digging up pesky prickly pear cactus when it threatened to take over a pasture, and just generally tending the herd.
When the work was done, they would ride back in to the Hands' House. That's where they would take their boots off, get fed, figure out what needed to be taken care of next, and rest up for another day of tending the ranch.
It wasn't their ranch. They were just the tenants. But it was their responsibility to see that it was a productive venture for the owners.
Maybe the church needs to reclaim its place in the neighborhood. We're the cowhands who scope the community to see what needs to be done, then do it. We're the hired hands, appointed here to tend God's business.
We ride in regularly to the Hands' House to shed our shoes, remembering what holy ground we tread -- to get fed on the manna of heaven and drink together from the saving cup -- to sing around the campfire, share our stories, and figure out what else we ought to be doing -- and to rest up.
Let's encourage our pewdwellers to saddle up and ride out. Look & see what the Bossman's Boy is gonna notice around the ranch when he shows up unexpectedlike one of these days.
Are we rounding up the lost cows? Are they gettin enuf to eat? How's the water supply? When he asks us what we did on that north 40 acre pasture he give us, I hope it's purty enuf to make Him smile real proud...
Thank you Yell"Arose!"nTX for the chuckle and the truth you've painted with your words.
Please post again,
Rick in Va