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Categorized | From the Pulpit

Antler Stew

Pastor David Ward

Pilgrim Bible Church

361 Pine Street, Cedar Springs

The hunter slid silently into his stand, a smile on his face. Good things were going to happen today. He could feel it in his bones. 

Just before noon, he heard a sound that made him freeze in place. A grunt sounded just behind him. A buck was coming, following the scent of the doe that had passed earlier. Slowly he drew his bow back and waited. It was a handsome six-point with a well-formed rack. When the buck was gone, he eased the tension off the bow. It had presented a tempting target, but he had another buck on his mind.

For years he had been pursuing a monster buck he had named Destiny. He had determined that he would be the one to do what no one else seemed to be able to do. That deer would be his! His Destiny. There had been a couple of chances in the past but each time something happened. Somehow, at the last possible moment, the big buck would detect something amiss. Then, like something out of a dream, the deer was simply gone.

He had a feeling about today, although, to be honest, he’d had that feeling before. The hours slowly passed by, pleasantly but uneventfully. The sun began to set. He reached for his bow, resigning himself to another fruitless day.

Suddenly, like an apparition, without warning, and without sound, there it was.  In a moment the arrow took flight, straight and true, to its mark. 

The hunter stood in awe over his trophy. Suddenly he couldn’t wait to get home and tell his Dad.

The hunter slipped quietly, but with excitement, into the room where his father slept. Gently he shook him to awaken him. “Dad, wake up! I’ve got to tell you about my hunt.”

Groggily the old man opened his eyes. “What? Who’s there?”

“Dad, it’s me, Esau.”

“But…What… Then who was that earlier? Who did I bless?”

Slowly the picture begins to come together. Esau’s brother, Jacob, had stolen his blessing. While Esau was away, this bigger trophy had slipped through his fingers.

“Isn’t there yet a blessing left for me?” Esau cries.

“I’m sorry, son, but that blessing is already past,” is the regretful reply.

How many blessings have slipped through our fingers? We’ve been so busy pursuing our trophies: a career, a big retirement, the perfect family, and all the trappings that go with it, oblivious to the greater trophies slipping away with the sands of time. All the while, our Father was calling us into His presence. He’s not interested in our antler stew. He’s been waiting to share the feast of fellowship.

(A creative adaptation from Genesis 27.)

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