​​​​​​                                           Grace Lutheran Church & Learning Center  

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​We are talking about 2020 vision this year … perfect vision…and not so perfect vision.

An older pastor once told me October is when we celebrate “St. Nimrod Sunday”. Pews would be a bit more empty. Now there is no “saint” Nimrod (to my knowledge) but there is a reference in Genesis 10:  Nimrod grew to be a mighty warrior on the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord; that is why it is said, “Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before the Lord.”Genesis 10

Of course, the old pastor was referring to the opening week-end of deer hunting season.

[Scoping for game stock footage. Video of hunting, himalayan - 53792570] Spotting, sighting or glassing deer happens to be the preferred tactic used for Mule Deer in wide open country. It is our connection to our 2020 theme and 2020 vision. I came across this article by John Barsness about hunting Mule Deer in Montana Outdoors:

A common method for hunting Mule Deer on the plains is to use binoculars or a spotting scope.  ..I once hunted with a friend who had never hunted deer before. We came over a ridge, and on the opposite slope 200 yards away were about 20 muleys, standing and feeding slowly in the morning sun. For the next 15 minutes I tried to explain where the deer were.  “Look, you see that two-trunked ponderosa? Look about 30 feet below it and a little left….There’s a big gray rock. A buck is standing just to the right of it….”   When my friend finally shot… he shot the rock! *

Recognizing such a thing is a matter of life or death. Paul writes warning the Corinthians:

I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. …if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough…. no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve. 2 Cor 11

Many men may speak words that sound intelligent, good or moral, but their source is anything but good and their goal is to lead us away from God. These days seeing things in the distance is difficult, …and I, too, may well have shot some rocks!

            But a skeptical age should be more skeptical of what men may be looking at in the distance. Hitler appealed to conservatism and nationalism, but he was driven by a “science of eugenics” that many people “put up with easily enough”. (Not unlike Margaret Sanger of Planned Parenthood fame).   Millions died. The Bolsheviks appealed to equality and even distribution of wealth. Marx had a “science of economics” that in practice robbed, enslaved and starved millions, and yet there are people who “put up with it easily enough”. NEITHER focused on following Christ Jesus. For those who did ”put up with it easily enough” God’s word was not used to vet their truth. The CROSS in the scope is critical. I am skeptical of the vehement vows to “follow the science” these days. If science is preserving life God gives, understanding God’s creation and being good stewards God’s earth, THAT is a beautiful endeavor. If men manipulate it to achieve some human end – it worries me. So much of what scientists have done is marvelous and beneficial. But when they give no glory to God what are we looking at? God’s glorious gracious gifts…or man’s pride? I have a scope in the Word of God that warns me of those who, “although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools Romans 1

            Consider what we are looking at these days. The CDC released numbers the other day of survivability according to age for Covid: Ages 0-19: 99.997%           Ages 20-49: 99.98%           Ages 50-69: 99.5%        Ages 70+: 94.6%.  Through the scope that is GOD’s WORD we are looking at a plague, but a plague stayed by the hand of God! Compare it with polio which touched my brother and my sister. At its peak 500,000 people would be paralyzed or die EVERY YEAR over a 20 year span. Each year 50,000, mostly children under the age of 5 would suffer from it in the USA. That plague struck our children!  Yes, people we know have suffered today, but who dares open their mouth to say HIS name in thanks for those spared!? A scope – in the case of hunting - allows you to identify at a distance. God’s word is such a scope that allows you to see the God who sent His Son in love for this sinful world. He is still acting in mercy for us. Do you see what are we looking at?

In Christ Jesus, our Lord                                                                                 Pastor Vern Sandersfeld