Saturday, May 07, 2011

Funny Bunnies

This pair of bunnies appears not to mind at all that our lawn is overdue for mowing.

I continue to be amazed that bunnies like these manage to survive in the city. There are numerous cats that prowl freely throughout our yard and the entire neighborhood. These little bunnies roam the same territory.

How do they evade being killed and eaten?

Their primary survival skill seems to be patience. When even a hint of danger is sensed, they crouch down and become very, very still. They don’t move a muscle. They do not even twitch their ears. Total silence seems to be their defense.

Perhaps there is a lesson to be learned from these tender little creatures.

Certainly there are times when remaining quiet and still is the best thing to do.

. . .

. . .

. . .

However, people are not little bunnies who have no responsibilities in the world. People have been declared by God to be the gods of this world. People have been given dominion over all that exists in this world.

Most especially, those who have heard the Gospel so as to be made to be members of the body of Christ, the Church, these souls who in many ways appear to be poor little bunnies in a world full of cats and other predators, have been given a message to share.

But how is that message given? How is that precious good news ordained to be shared? How has Christ Himself ordained that this message is to be told?

First and foremost, this blessed good news is poured out in the gathering of the saints, the holy communion of saints, the Church. Through the regular congregating to the pure administration of the means of grace, the little innocent saints are kept alive. They quietly respond to the calling of the Holy Spirit to be nurtured and fed within the gathering that the Holy Spirit creates.

Within this gathering the little babies are baptized into the body of Christ, the kingdom of God. Through the continual catechesis of the divine liturgy and the sermons and the hymns and especially through the Holy Supper, the gentle children of God are preserved and fed and strengthened and kept safe.

But God’s little bunnies, His beloved children, do not stay hidden. He brings them forth into the world through their daily activities where all the world sees them for who they are. Sometimes people ask about the life that is observed. Sometimes the Lord’s children speak out on issues or even directly confront their neighbors and friends and coworkers. Mostly they live their lives, gently and quietly performing their various duties within their various vocations. Their mealtime prayers, their regular attendance in the gatherings for the divine services, their visitation of the sick and shut-ins, their kind words and actions toward those who are hurting or needy, these all announce their peculiar identity in connection with Christ.

Sometimes God’s children do simply have to be quiet and still and let the world go by them. They are not empowered to attack. They have been empowered with gentleness and peace. They have no worldly sword or armor. Their armor is the Word of God, Jesus. Their armor is spiritual armor, designed to keep them safe from that which destroys not only the body but also the soul. Unlike the little bunnies in the yard, God’s children are safe regardless of what bodily harm that they may encounter. They have been baptized into the one who is the way, the truth, and the life. They have been brought into the life that never ends. They have been incorporated into the one who is the Resurrection and the Life. Thus like the one into whom they have been buried and raised, so they also bear the world’s scorn and ridicule and slander and attacks and persecution, knowing and believing that none of these things, not even death, can harm them.

Observing the little bunnies in the yard, I cannot imagine anyone ever even considering the possibility of counting them as anything but gentle creatures. Such also is the witness of the true Church on earth.

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