Dec 1, 2011

Dominion

The ominous machine raged through the rainforest. The chainsaws on the front end looked like enormous crab pincers. Their powerful force sliced through the ancients like a knife through soft butter. But there was a rather large tree was in its path. It would be difficult for the machine to cut. Not simply because the tree was big – but because the tree was home to the nasty rainforest villian, Hexxus.

One of the great animated movies from the early 1990s is Ferngully. It's the story of a colony of fairies living in the rainforest near Mount Warning, Australia. A lumber company arrives into the rainforest to harvest dead trees, but accidently cut down the tree that had enslaved Hexxus, the evil spirit of destruction. When he is released from the tree, Hexxus naturally hides in the exhaust smoke from the tree leveler machine. The rest of the movie is a battle between the fairies and the humans who are dominated by the evil Hexxus. I haven't seen this movie in years. In fact, I still haven't. But I had a recent experience which made me remember this wonderful family favorite movie.

I have a mesquite tree in the front yard. It was planted by the original owners of the house. But the tree is not right. Instead of having one large trunk – it is composed of many ill-formed trunks. Even so, I wasn't planning on cutting down the tree at all. But when I decided to switch phone service, Blue Stake was called to locate all the utilities on my lot. It turns out that the power service that runs from the transformer to the house is directly under this tree. The tree simply had to go.

The problem is that this is a very large Mesquite. Birds live in this tree. For the past five years, we have watched nests form and baby birds grow up in this tree. When I went out to cut the tree, the birds were singing! And that is when I remembered the movie Ferngully. Because all of the sudden, I felt like the evil monster of destruction, Hexxus. And of course the birds didn't help. They kept flying around the tree singing as I lopped off branches. I felt about as low a human can possibly feel.

Scripture teaches that Humans have dominance over creation. I am within my legal right as a human to cut down any tree I need to. God gave man that right. But that doesn't mean that man should abuse creation. In fact, a recent publication by the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, Together with All Creatures: Caring for God's Living Earth, says that man shouldn't turn a blind eye to God's creation. But man has to have food and shelter and that usually means that some part of creation becomes toast... literally.

But even if I am in the wrong; even if the tree never would have broken the power line; even if all the birds died because of my foolish deed. I am still forgiven. Because Jesus was the perfect Son of Creation who lived a perfect life to redeem me. Even if the birds never will.

Blessings,

Pastor David Hook