Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Ste. Em and the Leaped Conclusion

Howie finally fixed the squirrels last Wednesday before Vespers. He ran a row of screws around the top of the pvc, forming a gridwork too tight for one of the critters to fit through. The next day it was safe to hang out once more a block of seed for woodpeckers.

Next morning a large section of one corner was gone, and the cage holding the block was hanging catawampus. Pretty large squirrel to do that business… but… no such creature could climb up to get at the feeder!

There are more than squirrels living in those woods, and more than squirrels are getting hungry. The only animal that could reach that far is a deer. I have since then taken to tossing out two ears of dry corn a few feet from the feeder each day. We have been sitting in class and have seen deer wander past the windows.

The easiest conclusion to come to is the leaped one. Saves all sorts of effort thinking, too. Spares compassion, reserving it for when we “really” need it- like our neighbor we don’t see. Sometimes it’s easier to have an outpouring of neighborly love for victims of a cataclysmic event “over there” than it is to keep the Eighth Commandment for the neighbor who is standing right in from of us, of me.

Noah’s son, Ham, found his father drunk, asleep, and naked inside his tent (Gen 9). He told the tale to others. Shem and Japheth covered their father’s nakedness, but did not look upon him. They entered Noah’s tent backwards, covering themselves with his cloak until it could be placed on Noah to cover him. Luther’s explanation of the Eight Commandment tells us that we are to not betray our neighbor, but “explain everything in the kindest way.” This is to cover his sin with his own cloak, just as Noah’s sons did.

This is but a picture of how the Eighth Commandment is kept first of all in Christ. In Baptism He wraps us in Himself. That is, He tosses His cloak around our nakedness, making us His own. What was once shameful is now clean. In Christ, there is nothing left to gossip about regarding the Children of God. In Christ, we are the sinner, but the Father calls us “Saint.” In Christ, we are spoken of better than we deserve- shall we argue about that?

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