"A Rare Beastie"
January 15, 2012
O Lord, do not Your eyes look for truth? You have struck them down, but they felt no anguish; You have consumed them, but they refused to take correction. They have made their faces harder than rock; they have refused to repent. Jeremiah 5:3
What is the rarest animal on earth?
With a lot of beasties seemingly headed for extinction, there seems to be quite a few contenders for the rather doubtful honor. High on the list would have to be "Lonesome George." Lonesome George is the last living giant Galapagos tortoise. That's why, right now, there are those who are trying to find a girl giant Galapagos tortoise to make the acquaintance of Lonesome George. So far there have been no takers found.
The rarest of living creatures. There are only two or three Northern White Rhino left, which are not to be confused with their cousins, the Southern White Rhino. There's a bunch of those still running around.
There is the Yangtze River Dolphin of China, which had the silly notion that it could, with impunity, eat the same fish that people wanted for their supper. They've been pretty nearly wiped out.
Folks who make it a habit of following the Amur Leopard say there are only about 30 of them, a problem compounded by the fact most of those Amur Leopards are guy Amur Leopards -- a drawback when it comes to restocking the pride.
What is the rarest creature on earth? Give or take a few critters, that's the list science provides.
Personally, I think science has missed the boat. Although not a lot of investigation has gone into the species, personal observation has told me the most rare of God's creatures is the human being who can repent of something -- and not take back that repentance with an excuse or an explanation.
In making that statement about the world's rarest creature, I draw a certain degree of security in knowing I am not alone in my opinion.
Jeremiah would certainly agree. How did he say it, "They have made their faces harder than rock; they have refused to repent."
That's not the way it should be for Christians.
In the very first sermon preached in the new Christian church on Pentecost, Peter was asked, "What can we do to be saved?" His answer still stands. He said, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the Name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to Himself" (see Acts 2:37-41).
So, I guess non-excuse-making Christians shouldn't be so hard to find, after all.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, today I ask that You will allow me to repent of my sins and do it without hesitation, regret or with a half-hearted spirit. Help me remember that You are my Lord, Jesus is my Savior, and I am the person who needs forgiveness and the gift of salvation. For these I give thanks in the Name of Jesus. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries