Last Sunday, as I was driving home there were many tractors in the fields. To those who read this blog and live their whole lives in large cities, there is no way I can describe this pleasure to you. It is it pleasure of smelling freshly tilled earth.
I have lived in several geographically different places in the United States. This includes living in the inner city of Chicago, the sub-urban areas of Atlanta, in smaller cities, and in a hand-full of rural farming areas in Wisconsin and Minnesota.
The ground smells a bit different in each area. But freshly tilled earth is wonderful. Yes, the grit gets in your eyes and under your finger nails. But we were created to "till the ground." Technology, advances in farming equipment, and even satellite based computer navigation for farming can't change the fact. We were created from the soil. We are stewards of the soil. Satan's infection has not removed that basic nature of our race.
When the ground is broken to receive the seed. I inhale deeply. I love it.
One of my best friends is loosing his grandfather this week. Another good friend is loosing her father. The corruption of sin means that this shell of a body will die. But we have God's own promise, purchased by the blood of His own Son that when we are planted in the ground, we will arise again.
The lightning is flashing now. There's a thunderstorm out tonight. And the seed will be watered. Do not neglect the watering of the Holy Spirit through His means of grace.
We celebrated Tyler's confirmation this morning. Pr. Stafford has been so good to work with Tyler through the last few years. And Tyler has been good to study so hard, to learn what the Word of God teaches about the forgiveness given to us by Christ. I pray that Tyler outlives me in this world. I pray that Tyler and his whole family, as torn by Satan as it has been, can be steadfast in the grace of Jesus Christ.
I pray this for all the members of my 4 congregations. And I pray this for my family, and all our friends and neighbors.
Because, what counts is not how great we are, but how much Christ has given to us through His life, death, and resurrection.
God bless you all.
By the way, Pr. Stafford, Mary and I went to see Spiderman 3. It is very violent. After all, it's a comic book with super heros and super villians. It is a bit too much on the chick-flick scale, but it does get wrestling with moral choices in life. And it gets one very important issue better than even the Luther movie: forgiveness. The closing scenes with Venom, the Sandman and Spiderman is worth so many profitable discussions on evil, grace, and forgiveness.
Of course the movie is not as good as learning the same from the lives of King David, Samuel, Peter, Paul, and Judas in Scripture. But we live in a biblically illiterate society here in the U.S. Most people look to their own hearts for illumination and truth. The idea of personal culpability and forgiveness is lost on most people here. The petition "Forgive us our tresspasses as we forgive those who tresspass against us" is lost in the pride of self-esteem=self-worship.
I'm sure that many don't care for Marvel superheros, but this movie is a useful tool for Confessional Lutherans. So much of the petty selfish sinful garbage which we dwell in is put out for consideration and discussion in this movie.
I hope that Captain Jack Sparrow, the Silver Surfer, and other characters in (what looks like a good movie summer) these new movies can measure up.
Kudos to Stan Lee and all those working on the Spiderman movies. Thank you.