Monday, November 16, 2009

Giant Gator Tale

Or should that be Giant Gator Tail?

Below I have linked to the photos included in the article at OutdoorLife entitled: “Giant 1,000-Pound Class Florida Gator”. The article tells the story of the capture and kill of this giant monster. The tail, which is very good eating if prepared properly, is as large as a grown man. Read the story for yourself. The pictures are linked below.

Growing up in Orlando, I have seen many alligators, especially when fishing as a boy and young fella. In college I once tasted deep fried cubes of gator tail that some friends had prepared. They were very good.

At the seminary, professors warned of “alligators” in the parish. They spoke of tactics in attempting to “deal with the alligators.” There is even a book with that in the title, written by a so-called expert.

As these photographs show, the so-called alligators are not the real problem, not in the swamps of Florida nor in the parish.

The real problem is that alligators are a protected species, both in the Florida swamps and in the parish. At least a licence can be procured for the Florida swamps. Not so in the parishes of the churches of today.

Alligators can be fearsome monsters, especially when provoked. But the true parish pastor is fully equipped to deal with alligators, if he is permitted to do so.

Like this big brute, parish alligators can be worn down, overpowered, and slain. That is what the Law of God’s Word does. As I was once told, “Pastor, it’s not fair that you always quote the Scriptures. I can’t defend myself.”

But the true pastor is not satisfied with the death of the alligator. The true pastor is a slave of his Master, who desires that all the alligators be saved. Truly the alligator must be slain by the Law. But through the proclamation of the Gospel, the alligator can be resurrected to live the new life of peace and love.

Claws like these appear fearsome when used for destructive purposes. But alligators also use their claws to dig places for laying their eggs. In a similar way, those who previously lashed out against the pure Gospel and Sacraments can become great builders of peace and concord when the Word is preached purely and the Sacraments are administered as the Lord has ordained. Such is the way when the alligator is slain and resurrected with the heart and soul and mind of a sheep.

Sadly, the real dragons are those who forbid the pastor from using the fullness of the power of the Word to slay the alligators so as to resurrect them with the Gospel and the water of regeneration. Rather, those old dragons come after the pastors, driving them out or eventually slaying them.

Of course, no pastor should remain in an alligator infested swamp. Only a fool would build a shanty in which to live in the midst of a swamp full of alligators. Sheep don’t live in a swamp. Neither do shepherds.

But then, this is only an alligator tale. Right?

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