Living Stones

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Have you noticed the geese flying south the last several weeks?  I’m reminded of the lessons we can learn from them.  They fly in a V formation because as each bird flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the bird immediately following.  By flying in a V formation, the whole flock adds at least 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own.  Christians who share a common direction and a sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier because they are traveling on the thrust and uplift of one another.

Whenever a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go it alone, and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front.  If we have as much sense as a goose, we will stay in formation with those who are headed the same way we are going.  When the lead goose gets tired, he rotates back in the wing and another goose flies point.  It pays to take turns doing hard jobs with people at church as with geese flying south.  The geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.  What are we saying when we honk from behind?

Finally, when a goose gets sick or is wounded by gunshot and falls out, two geese fall out of formation and follow him down to help and protect him.  They stay with the injured goose until he is able to fly, or until he is dead; then they launch out on their own or with another formation to catch up with their original group.  There’s a lot the church can learn from geese!

Geese flying south also remind us of the approaching Thanksgiving holiday.  When you come to worship with us at 10 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning, remember to be thankful for this church, Peace Lutheran, and the people here who “fly” together, stay together, share the workload of ministry, encourage each other with our “honking”, and take care of one another even to the end.  Christ’s Church on earth is by no means a perfect institution; we’re all sinners trying to help other sinners.

But included in our thankfulness is our thanksgiving for the foundation and cornerstone of the church, Jesus Christ, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit to nurture and sustain the church for ministry.  Our congregation knows the Lord and that we are “living stones” built together for his purposes. And we use the gifts we’ve been given to accomplish the mission He’s given us.  Something geese cannot do, but we as Christ’s church can, is to show our thanks for all God’s blessings by the lives we live with the church and in the world.  By instinct geese do what God created them to do.  By the grace of God Christians do what God created us to do!

Pastor Kurt Wandrey