- Pastor Ralph
Sunset at Oak Lake
I love the writings of Charles Swindoll. He combines sound exegesis of God‘s word, pastoral wisdom and a realistic appraisal of human behaviour. As I sat at my brother-in-law’s cottage last Thursday, watching the sunset over Oak Lake, a flock of geese came in to land and spend the night. It was a beautiful sight. I wondered how far they had travelled that day and what they had been through as a flock. The animal world has lots of wisdom to help us understand our relationship with God and one another. Chuck Swindoll talks about the dynamics that govern the behaviour of geese and how it applies to our collective walk with Christ. I turn to what Pastor Swindoll has to say about a gaggle and its wisdom for us, as a church, especially in challenging times such as these:
“It's those stately geese I find especially impressive. Winging their way to a warmer climate, they often cover thousands of miles before reaching their destination. Have you ever studied why they fly as they do? It is fascinating to read what has been discovered about their flight pattern as well as their in-flight habits. Four come to mind.
1. Those in front rotate their leadership. When one lead goose gets tired, it changes places with one in the wing of the V-formation and another flies point.
2. By flying as they do, the members of the flock create an upward air current for one another. Each flap of the wings literally creates an uplift for the bird immediately following. One author states that by flying in a V-formation, the whole flock gets 71 percent greater flying range than if each goose flew on its own.
3. When one goose gets sick or wounded, two fall out of formation with it and follow it down to help and protect it. They stay with the struggler until it's able to fly again.
4. The geese in the rear of the formation are the ones who do the honking. I suppose it's their way of announcing that they're following and that all is well. For sure, the repeated honks encourage those in front to stay at it.
As I think about all this, one lesson stands out above all others: it is the natural instinct of geese to work together. Whether it's rotating, flapping, helping, or simply honking, the flock is in it together...which enables them to accomplish what they set out to do.”
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (ESV)
Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17 (ESV)
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Hebrews 1o:24-25 (ESV)
From that day on, half of my servants worked on construction, and half held the spears, shields, bows, and coats of mail. And the leaders stood behind the whole house of Judah, who were building on the wall. Those who carried burdens were loaded in such a way that each laboured on the work with one hand and held his weapon with the other. And each of the builders had his sword strapped at his side while he built. The man who sounded the trumpet was beside me. Nehemiah 4:16-18 (ESV)
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: 1 Peter 4:10 (ESV)
Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2 (ESV)
My friends, may these geese remind us of the importance of working together and encouraging one another. Nature displays God’s design and reminds us that if we are to Glorify Him and bear fruit, we must do it together as a team. Thanks for being such a great team and keep up the good work!
God bless you and stay safe – Pastor Ralph