It is true that we are all frogs and toads, and the post-Christmas lull can cause us to forget, but we who are now alive in Christ have a Prince who has rescued us and promises us peace for today and hope of eternal life with Him. With whatever croaky voices we have been given, let us sing His praises everyday!
God’s intervening story informs our stories. So many of our Indigenous peoples are wrestling with God and man. The sins they have committed and those committed against them, the fallen-ness of humanity, addictions, the loss of culture and family values have all left our people struggling.
The Good News is that, in the struggle, God shows up in the face of Christ Jesus and does not prevail against us!
We see people all the time, everywhere, who are hurting and in need. A person standing on the side of the road with a sign asking for help. People sleeping on a park bench, homeless, broken, and trapped in the cycle of addictions. Have you ever wondered, should I help? If I were to help would it be good or would it hurt them more?
I am convinced one of the keys to ministry in any community, maybe especially the Native American community, is reaching the fathers with the Gospel and encouraging them to take responsibility for the spiritual lives of their families.
I think of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross as God offering His best in order to turn our hearts to Him, our Father God. It was a sacrificial act of the greatest order in all of history; God offering His own Son in order to unite us with Him. What great love, what great sacrifice!
And in relating their stories, they are humbled. It is then they are reminded that no matter how much effort they invest, it is only God who brings the increase. And at what time, and how that comes about, is not up to human endeavor but the work of the Holy Spirit. They are only assured that as they share His word it will not return void.
For me, there is something healing about digging in the dirt. My parents both came from a family of farmers. Perhaps, it is part of my DNA. Sometimes I wonder what it was in creation that spoke to the man, Jesus. Taught to work with wood by Joseph, His earthly father, did He sometimes run His hands over a well-finished piece of furniture and enjoy its smoothness or pleasant lines and craftsmanship?