On Faith: Catch a bite of spiritualityIt doesn’t take long, after the ice is barely thick enough, before the lakes are dotted with those little houses or lone figures on up-turned buckets. What would winter here be without ice fishing? It is in the blood.
By: Rev. Laura Berdahl, Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, Castle Danger, Lake County News Chronicle
It doesn’t take long, after the ice is barely thick enough, before the lakes are dotted with those little houses or lone figures on up-turned buckets. What would winter here be without ice fishing? It is in the blood.
There are different ways to do it, of course. One can be high-tech, low-tech, or no tech. One can be alone or in a group. But it doesn’t matter much. The point is to be out there and try to be more wily than the swimming creatures under the ice. That is a tall order, to be sure, but sometimes it can be done.
There is the man over there, by himself, with just his dog for company. He has a couple of lines in the water, and a couple of success stories flopping around on the ice next to him. If you take a few minutes, you can walk over and have a talk: about the dog, about the best time of day for which fish, about the kids and their first times out. Conversation slows and you can amble back to see if your own bobber has swum away yet.
There is a bigger group on the other side, laughing and talking, walking carefully around the holes and dodging the maddeningly invisible lines. They have a dog, too, and pretty soon he needs to check out the neighbors. He squabbles with the lone man’s dog, and soon their owners are conversing with their hands deep in the collars of the animals.
It is a community. Some come alone or with others. Some have more stuff than others. Some have more luck than others. But it is a community, and you need to be out there to be a part of it. It is good to share resources, knowledge, and stories, and to commiserate when nothing seems to be working.
Each Sunday morning we gather in our communities of worship, as well. Of course, they are quite a different communities in some ways. But in some ways the community is not so different. We still come with different backgrounds, gifts, shortcomings and stories. Sometimes we come alone. Sometimes we come with others. We can share stories and commiserate. We can share knowledge and resources. And when we have lots, we can share with those who do not have so much.
But instead of coming together to try to coax out sneaky fish, we are brought together by One who loves us and who wants to bring us out of our sinful selves into the new life we have in Him. That One is made manifest to us through the miracles He performed, the words He spoke, the death He died and the new life He gives. He is brought to us in bread and wine, water and word, in the witness of our brothers and sisters. And He is embodied in the community of his church, the body of Christ. As many and varied as our different worship communities are, we know that in Christ we are one.
God’s promises in Christ are there with you and for you no matter what. But we feel them at their richest and fullest in the community of God’s gathered children, where two or three or three hundred have been gathered by Him in His name.
So come and bring a friend. Hear the Word of Christ in the midst of the Body of Christ. Be strengthened and refreshed. Then go and do as He commands: love the Lord your God with all your heart soul and mind and your neighbor as yourself.