Ponderings with Doug – June 3, 2016



Doug De Graffenried – First United Methodist Church, Natchitoches, Louisiana

When I moved to Natchitoches a resident told me that when the wind blows the power goes out. There were a couple of times that aphorism seemed true. In recent years, Natchitoches Electric has wonderful service most of the time.  The outages are widely scattered and resolved quickly.

You may admit that last week’s power outages, once the air conditioning returned, were amusing to ponder particularly in combination. First there was the snake. I am not a fan of snakes; I don’t have any particular fear of them, but having spent some time in West Texas I have learned to listen for the rattle before approaching the snake. I surmise the Bubba snake saw an opportunity to show off for the rest of the snakes and said, “Hey guys, watch this!” The snake was turned into a crispy critter and while most of us slept the electricity was off. The only inconvenience suffered was the need to reset all the clocks in the kitchen.

The outage at the end of the week was caused by a tree. Actually it was caused by multiple trees. It is one of the few times the nice siren man who warns us of bad weather that never seems to happen was correct. We did need to take shelter for a couple of minutes. Folks are still cutting trees and cleaning up limbs.

Trees and a snake combined to remind us of how helpless we really are given the power and curiosity of nature. The trees and the snake combined to make our world powerless and dark.

This was too obvious to pass up. There was another tree in a garden long ago. God said, “Hey you guys you can eat anything in this garden you wish, but that tree in the middle. Don’t eat the fruit on that tree. Y’all have a great time. Multiply and enjoy the creation I have given you. Remember there is only one rule, stay away from that tree in the middle of the garden.”

The majority of the time, what happens when you tell a child not to do something? That’s right, that is the first thing they do.

One day Adam and Eve were hanging out in the garden and the snake whispered to Eve. I have the snake whispering to Eve from the very tree she was to avoid. Snake could have been someplace else, but it is more hermeneutically convenient to have the snake in that tree. I know the Hebrew word is serpent, but snake works better for this article. That is called homiletical license. If you get homiletical license and convenient hermeneutics combined that is called, “chasing a rabbit.”

“Eve, check this out. This is some Grade A, USDA prime fruit. Why don’t you take a bite?”

“God told us not to.”

“Well, God is not around is He? His tree cam is not online at the moment. This is good fruit. It will make you divine. You will be the only woman on the face of the earth and you will be divine. Eve, eat this fruit and you can be the first Diva!”

After some other conversation, Eve ate. Immediately she gave the fruit to Adam and he ate. The eyes of both of them were opened. For the first time, they knew they were buck nakkid. Since Moses was also a preacher the detail was added, “and they were ashamed.”

One commentator has said the sin in the Garden of Eden happened because “a chick didn’t know a line when she heard one and a dude couldn’t keep his mouth shut.”

Trees and snakes have caused powerlessness and darkness from the start. Natchitoches Electric can take care of the loss of electricity. Jesus can handle the loss of innocence. Take care to call upon the right resource to solve the problem.

2 thoughts on “Ponderings with Doug – June 3, 2016

  1. First thing I read when we get the paper.
    Proud to call him my pastor. This,man can think & write in a way that enertains while enlightening. Yep-,that’s,a,preacher for you.

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