The Divine Hunter
Before I begin my last newsletter reflections as your interim pastor [Laurie thought I should just write in big letters, “I’m outa here!”], let me offer a heart-felt thank you to everyone. Your love, acceptance and cooperation has made this a most enjoyable experience for me, and I am indeed grateful. This is my last interim assignment, and I’m going to actually stay retired when I leave St. John’s. Know that my thoughts and prayers will be with you as you continue your search for a new pastor who will lead you in mission. Now, on with my final musings!
Last week one of our dogs stuck his nose in my face at 5am, which I knew to be the signal that he needed to go outside. After stumbling down the stairs and opening the back door to let him out, I looked up and saw in the pitch black sky the constellation Orion, bright as could be. It took my breath away! Instead of shutting the door, I stepped outside and gazed in amazement and wonder for about five minutes.
As I pondered the immensity of the universe and my apparent insignificance, the words of Psalm 8 began to creep into my mind: O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens…When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established; what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them? Yet you have made them a little lower than the angels, and crowned them with glory and honor. You have given them dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under their feet…” We are not insignificant—none of us is! “Made a little lower than the angels,” is how the psalmist put it. How important each of us is to the God of all creation!
Now I don’t know a lot about constellations, but I do remember a little bit about Orion. In Greek mythology, Orion is “The Great Hunter.” You really can’t see much of an outline when gazing at the stars [the Greeks must have had a better imagination than we have today!], but Orion has a club raised in his right hand with a lion skin in his left., holding it out as you would a shield. Of our many images of God, there is one that Orion reminded me of that is not all that familiar to most of us—the image of the “Divine Hunter.” God, in Jesus Christ, has come looking for us, not with club and lion skin, but with a raised cross in one hand, and the shield of Christ’s righteousness in the other, which he held out to us in our baptisms.
Just in case we don’t believe the psalm writer concerning how significant we really are in God’s grand plan, remember Orion, the “Great Hunter”— then think about how the God we know in Christ Jesus is the greatest hunter of all. He has hunted us down, made us his own, and promised us his entire kingdom. This thanksgiving as we celebrate the many blessings God has showered upon us, let us remember to celebrate this one as well.
~ Pastor Jeff Chubb
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