Lions, crocodiles, cape buffalo. . . and worship schedule?

Posted by on Jun 1, 2013 in Pastor's Desk | No Comments

From Pastor Becker’s Heart to Yours…….
Why are we moving to one Divine Service in June and July? Many congregations adopt a summer schedule for a variety of practical reasons, such as families being away on vacation. In addition to our musicians taking a much needed and well-deserved break with their families, let me offer this idea as well — unity in the body of Christ. In his book, “The Great Evangelical Recession” John S. Dickerson tells this story:

“My favorite picture of unity is a YouTube video titled “Battle of Kruger.” It was filmed on a South African safari ….if you haven’t seen it, you should check it out now.

In the clip, four lions pounce on three Cape buffalo as the buffalo drink from a watering hole. The Cape buffalo – mother, father and calf – scatter when attacked. The four lions get hold of the tiny calf, and it doesn’t look good. Gnawing, biting, tearing, and dragging, the lions fight to bring the calf down to the ground. It’s buffalo versus lion. Then, some crocodiles also get in on what seems to be a food fight. The little buffalo has no way of retaliating. All he can do is hang in there. Somehow he stays up on all four hooves.

Cape Buffalo, © Sloth92 | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

Cape Buffalo, © Sloth92 | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

That’s when the herd shows up. At least a hundred Cape buffalo. A solid wall of muscle and bone and horns encircles the four lions. The largest, strongest bulls stand side by side, forming a battering ram of horns at the front of the mass. One at a time, the largest bulls take turns charging the lions.

One bull gores a lion, throwing it ten feet in the air. The other lions keep gnawing at the calf, which is still alive, but now out of the water and away from the crocodiles. The lions don’t take the herd seriously—until another lion gets gored. And another gets stampeded.

Finally, the calf breaks free from the last lion, and the largest bulls chase the pride of lions away. What no single buffalo could do alone – attack, frighten, and chase away four lions – the community of buffalo could easily do together. In the end, the calf walked away without a limp.

One animal expert explained that Cape buffalo typically function in various individual groups and even fight with each other (sounds like one of our dear evangelical churches and ministries, right?). But, she added, ‘If a youngster is threatened, both the harem males and bachelor males which usually fight with one another – will get together to try to rescue it.’

We need the humility and perspective to see that (our movement) is under spiritual attack, and we need each other.”

If anyone has doubts that moving to one Divine Service is a good idea, I sincerely hope and pray that watching this video clip will persuade you otherwise. Surely God allowed this amazing incident to filmed and viewed now more than 71 million times for a good reason! It certainly humbles me to think that such enlightened, intelligent beings as we humans might need to learn a lesson from dumb beasts. Well, it wouldn’t be the first time (Numbers 22:27-31)

Pr. Paul F. Becker

Joshua 4:24 “…that all the people of the earth may know the hand of the LORD, that it is mighty, that you may fear the LORD your God forever.”