And God blessed them. And God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth." Genesis 1:28
Bald eagles. I must have been around 30 years old before I saw my first bald eagle in the wild.
Today all of my grandchildren have had the joy of seeing those majestic, soaring birds. Once near extinction, the return of the bald eagle to our skies is one of the great environmental success stories of our time.
According to John Rayfield of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, it's a success story that at least one person in Tennessee doesn't want to see continued.
Do I hear you ask, "Who is this person?" I don't know who he is, but the Fish and Wildlife Service is looking for the fellow who, more than 100 miles north of Nashville, shot two bald eagles. Did I say looking for this fellow? Actually, they're paying a $17,000 reward for information leading to this fellow's arrest.
And if you're wondering what will happen if the man is convicted of eaglecide? He faces fines up to $100,000 and a year in federal prison. The penalty is high because the government takes a dim view of people killing our national bird.
I don't think the Lord is too keen on the idea either. Killing bald eagles is probably not what He had in mind when He told us to have dominion over the birds of the heavens -- dominion, yes; extinction, no.
Sadly, humankind has a tendency to mess up the Lord's gifts. We have a tendency to misuse, mistreat and despoil them.
Nowhere is that more evident than in the way the world has dealt with the Savior.
If it is a tragedy to kill two bald eagles, what can be said about murdering and rejecting the sinless Son of God who came into this world to save us?
That is, of course, what many people have done and what they continue to do.
It is a great tragedy -- a tragedy far greater than the murder of some great birds.
This is why, today, I would ask you to join with me in asking that hearts be made open to the Savior who lived, died and rose so we might be forgiven and saved. Let us ask the Lord to touch lost souls so they may appreciate His many gifts and especially Jesus, God's great gift of grace.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, You have commented that our hearts are evil, evil from when we are young (see Genesis 8:21). Left to our own devices, we are and would remain, lost. In spite of the wretched sinners we are, You have not changed. You still love us and desire to save us. To that end You sent Your Son to be our Substitute and Sacrifice. Today we ask the Lord that the lost be brought to faith and we pray all of us may be appreciative of all Your great gifts. In the Name of Jesus we ask it. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries