One of my favorite garden tools:



When you care for a garden which includes grape vines,  you must be watchful for disease, blights, and all sorts of rotten branches, and if you don’t get rid of them, they’ll spread their corruption to the whole garden.

vine branchesWhen it comes to vines,  you search for bad areas that bring weakness and corruption to the whole vine.   Now, when you find such an area,  you don’t destroy the whole vineyard!  You don’t even destroy the whole vine.   Or the whole branch.   You find just the offending “slip”  and “snip” it off.

There is a certain Hebrew word used in the Psalms to present this idea, and it’s often used in the sense of snipping off a small part of a vine, taking it away.   How amusing, then,  and comforting to discover that in Psalm 75 this word is used with respect to the “princes” of great nations who do not fear God.

(If you use the Jewish Psalm numbering, as Protestant Bibles do, you’ll have to go to Psalm 76 and verse 12.) 

This verse was not part of our Readings,  not part of our sermon,  but part of the short prayers Proper for this day, and it’s been in use for many, many, many centuries for this particular Sunday after Pentecost.  (Wisdom comes from knowing what great and enduring ideas existed in the past.)

The Propers began with the Introit (a particular kind of entry), which reminded us that “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD.”   That is comforting to know, although not comforting to know one lives in a nation which does not officially recognize the LORD God.

Nevertheless,  our leaders, in all their pride and power,  are like little vine slips in the eyes of God — and if such a one becomes weak and corrupted and harmful. . . Then….SNIP!

Here is the prayer we offered today:   “Make your vow, and pray to the Lord your God, all you that round about Him bring presents to Him who takes away the spirit of princes…”

“Takes away”  –  Snip!

As bad as things can get from our point of view,  God is in control of the garden tools.

Explore posts in the same categories: 2013 Conflicts, Sunday Readings

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