Today’s Word from Pastor Tom…
Under the category of less than sincere, it would not be uncommon of me to offer, “You are moving way up my list of heroes… it’s a pretty lengthy list.”
Picture a variety of settings… someone just made a 12-inch putt for an 8, two eggs in succession were dropped into the fry pan without either yoke breaking… you get the idea.
All in all, it is meant to be heard as a playful expression of affection, “You are moving way up my list of heroes! You are right behind whoever invented the free-standing taco shell.”
In life heroes are those who conquer Nephilim. More precisely, heroes are often those who conquer their personal Nephilim.
Moses had dispatched scouts to explore the land God had promised to the wandering Israelites, and after 40 days they returned with two critical pieces of information.
First, the land was everything God had promised, “a land of milk and honey.”
Secondly, it was inhabited by Nephilim. These were a mythical people recognized for their tremendous size. One tradition holds they were children of fallen angels. Forgive the analogy but these were the zombie creatures of their day. Want to frighten the 5-year-old within the fiercest warrior? Tell him he was going up against the Nephilim.
The scouts report the people are like Nephilim in this promised land and “We seemed like grasshoppers…” Numbers 13:33.
Even though Caleb tried to silence the people in their fears with, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it,” the naysayers in their fear win the day. The consequence? God says this generation must die off before I will bless the faithful. There goes the next 40 years.
Caleb is a hero of mine. For Caleb, God was taller than the Nephilim.
Nephilim is a great metaphor. Think how often in the life of Trinity Lutheran, a crossroads was encountered and the task before us seemed too tall (too expensive?).
Yet, in the history of this Christian outpost time and time again your response has been “God is taller,” and blessings have followed. That’s what it is to step out in vision.
Since the moment of my beautiful Brenda Magdaline’s death (July 23), I confess I have encountered various moments of looming Nephilim on the horizon. Those of you who have been through such moments, as the death of someone precious in your sight, you well understand. Tomorrow can look imposing and fearful.
You have for me been Caleb. Your cards, words of condolence, and signs of affection have been for me milk and honey. You have been a source of hope and encouragement when quite frankly it felt dark. I cannot tell you how many people have reached out to me to express their gratitude for Brenda’s Memorial, how it left them with a sense of hope. Each of those conversations has left me with a grateful heart.
Do not minimize your contribution. Sincerely, you are quite high on my list of heroes.
Thank you for your generous spirits, words of encouragement, moments of shared silence when we knew there were no words, and for your love. I know Brenda is fine and each day I am becoming more confident in the blessings that are coming. As it turns out, those Nephilim aren’t really so tall afterwards.
God’s peace and love,
Pastor Tom Kidd
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