September 13, 2020

The Shepherd's Corner


This week has been an unusually tense week.  As I write this, the Bobcat fire is still raging up in the Angeles National Forest and threatening the Foothill community where we live.  However, despite the heavy smoke, ash, and soot, we still thank God that we are still unscathed by the fire; it could be worse.  Our hearts bled when we saw the devastations these fires have done to other areas.  Within hours properties—and lives—were lost into flame forever.

We do not know the cause of this Bobcat fire, but we do know who was responsible for another fire that’s raging in another state: men!  These men intentionally set the fire.  It is hard for us to make sense of their actions; why would anybody want to do that?  Why would anybody want to destroy not only nature but also properties and lives?  Instead of firearm, they used fire—massive fire—to destroy.

It was Sigmund Freud who introduced us to the concept of death instinct.  He theorized that not only do we have life instinct—the instinct to live—we also have death instinct—the instinct to die and to kill.  Freud stumbled upon this realization after he witnessed the atrocities perpetrated by men during World War I.  War is the time and place for death instinct to freely unleash in full force.

Unfortunately, war does not only take place out there, on battle grounds; war can also rage in here, in our hearts and minds.  Those whose hearts have been turned into battle grounds become the fertile ground for death instinct to unleash—to die or to kill.

I hope and pray that our hearts and minds are not battle grounds but rather holy grounds where the Holy Spirit abides and rules.  It is then, and only then, will our desire be for love and life. 

Pastor Paul

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