Good Morning Brothers…
“I felt sick to my stomach. I replayed the shot over and over again in my mind and I felt like I made a good shot.”
I listened intently to the story of the search. The search for the injured deer.
“I finally sat down and forced my heart rate to slow, looked around and thought about where an injured deer would run. To my left were a whole bunch of thick brambles and deep rocky fissure and fingers which would take a ton of effort to navigate. To my right the terrain smoothed out some, heavy tall grass and surface rocks dotted the landscape. I figured their were good hiding places to my left and right, but the terrain would be a bit easier to my right. After taking a long pull on my water bottle, I started picking my way to the right and sneaking into every finger and narrow ravine that the tall grass revealed. Searching with my binos, trying to spot him. After another hour I saw his rack sticking out above the tall weeds in the center of a grassy ravine. I spent the next 30 minutes sneaking up on him with the wind in my face and waited for him to rise.”
The hunting story. There is something about the hunting story that captures our attention. Often enough, it reminds us of stories of our own that follow similar twists and turns. Sometimes, the story is educational because it covers proverbial ground we have not, as yet, covered. One of the pure joys of being in a hunting camp, sequestered from the rest of the world, is the telling, and listening to, the story. I’m sure our ancestors sat around many fires, in many forests, telling many stories. The language and methods of hunting is largely passed down through the art of storytelling. Now I know there are TV shows today that talk about techniques and recount adventurous tales, however, their intentions are to sell products and make money. The intention of the storyteller, is to share the emotion, the thought process, and the lesson learned from the experience. The intention is to ‘pass on’ to someone else.
I have heard some humdinger hunting stories, however, the story about God coming down from His celestial home to become a man like us…is the humdinger of all stories. To think that an Almighty, Righteous, Holy God…would empty Himself of His Glory to be born unto men…as a helpless baby which needed the care of human parents…blows me away. Think about it…the baby Jesus needed to be fed, the baby Jesus needed to be burped, the baby Jesus needed a warm place to sleep and the loving arms of a mother to sing lullaby’s. The baby Jesus needed a family in which to grow. The baby Jesus was taught how to speak, how to walk, not to touch the hot stove and all of the other million things we teach our young children. He grew and learned and did all of these things without sin. He did these things without sin because He was completely filled with the Holy Spirit and rebellion against God is a foreign concept to One so filled.
The boy Jesus grew up in the blue collar home of a carpenter. A home in which perseverance to your craft was taught. The ebb and flow of a carpenters family would have hammered home the values of work, of service, of time well spent to complete the task given. The boy Jesus would have been taught how to drive a nail, follow a line when cutting with a saw, and the use of a plumb bob to derive a vertical line. The boy Jesus also grew up Jewish where adherence to the Scriptures was mandatory. By the age of twelve, the boy Jesus would have memorized the first five books of the Law. These are the first five books of our Bible.
The boy Jesus grew into a man. Somewhere around the age 30, the man Jesus laid down His framing square and hammer, and journeyed to the river Jordan. At the Jordan, He was baptized by His cousin John, and a voice from Heaven announced the beginning of His ministry…His calling, His task for the human race. Over the next three years, Jesus, the Chosen, prepared His disciples and the rest of us for a new promise. A new promise from the Almighty, a new covenant written in His blood, a new way to approach the Holy of Holies. He prepared us, He taught us, He showed us that Righteousness was possible through Him…but only through Him. He proved His worth through the words He spoke, the miracles He performed, and the love He showed.
When Jesus the Lamb took upon Himself, my sins and yours, the sins of the entire world…the heavens held their collective breath. When the rock fitted firmly in place began to roll back, when Jesus the Redeemer walked out into the morning air, the exhalation of creation was felt throughout time. Death has been defeated, love has won the day, grace now flows from God above to us through His Son…Jesus Christ the Victorious. This is a story worth telling. This is a story worth telling with our lips, with our thoughts, and with our lives. Whenever I find myself sequestered from the world and surrounded by fellow believers, I long to hear the story, to tell the story, to enact the story.
The life of Jesus Christ is the greatest story ever told. It also a story that continues through us…His faithful. The conclusion of the story has been written, however, the later chapters are still being written by the Holy Spirit through us. The same Holy Spirit that guided the baby Jesus, the boy Jesus, and the man Jesus. He truly was fully God and fully man. His example of how to tell this story is as true for us as it was for Him, to be so full of the Holy Spirit that rebellion against God is a foreign concept. As we let the Spirit flow into ourselves, the result is a life filled with love, joy, peace, patience, and the perseverance of the master carpenter to do the job that needs done.
The intention of the storyteller, is to share the emotion, the thought process, and the lesson learned from the experience. The intention is to ‘pass on’ to someone else. The story we tell, the story we ‘pass on’… is of Jesus, God Incarnate.