March 14, 2011

March 14: The Lord is your keeper


By Luke Gascho, director of the Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College
THIS WEEK’S THEME: The Lord is your keeper


Opening the lid on the beehive was always an awe-inspiring experience. After gently sending a few wisps of smoke into the entrance of the hive, I could open the box and peer inside. Each bee had a role: queen, worker, guards and drones. For a few moments I was part of their world. Some bees would fly around me checking to see if I was minding my business, while I examined the colony for health, rearranged frames and periodically removed honey. I always found this time to be a relaxing, reflective, holy moment.

As a beekeeper, I knew there were many things that the bees could do that I couldn’t do. They created a delicate wax comb filled with honey! But there were things I could do for them. When bears came and broke the hive into many pieces, I carefully put the hive back together and provided protection around the hive.

The Scriptures for this week call us to reflect on the Lord, who is our keeper. The Lord – like a beekeeper – seeks relationship with us. Consider three relational concepts implied by the term keeper.

  • Value – A keeper knows that there is inherent worth in the creature(s). The Creator sees us – and all of creation – as precious just because we are.
  • Future – A keeper thinks about what happens beyond the present. The Sustainer knows the importance of the next generation and calls us to be a healthy link to the preferred future.
  • Care – A keeper practices custodianship in ways that are renewing. The Redeemer sees brokenness and participates in regenerative activities in our lives.

Bask in a relationship with our Keeper that is life giving.



Comments (10)

  1. A new metaphor for me. Thanks for the fresh and personal interpretation.

    Phil Osborne March 14, 2011 |
  2. What is the scripture for this week? Where do I find each week’s scripture reading?>

    Guy March 14, 2011 |
  3. THANK YOU for this. You have articulated my personal mission statement for me! : ‘Striving to be a healthy link to the next generation’. With the help of the Keeper, it will be so.

    Jim Miller (James N. '53) March 14, 2011 |
  4. Hi Luke! I write for a sustainable agriculture company and occasionally am asked to write devotional pieces based on agriculture. I always read your writings with interest because they inspire and bless me, a definitely non-scientific person. Your EMU ’74 classmate. –Myrna Smucker

    Myrna Hershberger Smucker March 14, 2011 |
  5. Luke, To begin this new week with the image of God as “our (bee) keeper” — Creator, Sustainer, Redeemer — provides me with a renewed appreciation for a God’s eye “30,000 foot” perspective on life, alongside God’s intimate relationship to and with nature.

    Jim Brenneman, President Goshen College March 14, 2011 |
  6. Thanks Luke, This reminds me of my “keeper” who surrounds me with love and care. It also reminds me of our relaionship with your parents during MBM days.

    Mary K. Mishler March 14, 2011 |
  7. Thank you for the beautiful image of the beekeeper!
    I was in Pnom Penh in November at the water festival, when abut 2 million people (unbelievable) swarm into the city from the countryside. It is a huge event, and the streets hummed like inside a hive. The danger was palpable: it did not take much to turn the crowds into a riot. (on the bridge, where over 300 people were killed.) Like bees, the people work together at repairing their shared grief, bit by bit, person by person.
    Now as we watch the tragedy in Japan, where is the Keeper? I believe our prayers and love are like the smoke of the beekeeper, soothing and helping the Keeper in a work of healing and repair. “I could open the box and peer inside,”–yes, Lent invites us into the inside of creation in the company of the Creator.

    wendy maclean March 14, 2011 |
  8. Scripture readings this week (from the Lectionary for the coming Sunday):
    Monday – focused on the theme for the week, no specific Scripture attached
    Tuesday – Genesis 12:1-4a
    Wednesday – Psalm 121
    Thursday – Romans 4:1-5, 13-17
    Friday – John 3:1-17

    Devotions editor March 14, 2011 |
  9. Thanks for this timely reminder. I needed to hear this today.

    Arlene Steffen March 14, 2011 |
  10. My first thought was wondering how many times we sting God when all God wants is to sustain and help us.

    Lucretia Jevne March 15, 2011 |