Friday, May 8, 2009

Lessons From History

In the 1600's bubonic plague killed half the population of Europe. In the little Bavarian town of Oberammergau, villagers prayed and told God that if he spared them they would perform a passion play of the life of Jesus every tenth year. They have kept that promise. The next play will be in 2010 and the world will come to see it.

We stopped in Oberammergau on one of our visits to Germany. It is next to Unterammergau. Truely. Over and under. It was not a year of performance. When they do the play the whole town is involved. Nice tribute to answered prayer.

I have friends that come from the central Minnesota town of Cold Spring. Up on a hill overlooking the town is what is commonly known as the Grasshopper Chapel. It was built around 1870 in thanksgiving for being saved from another year of crop devastation by grasshoppers. The swarm of these insects had stripped all the crops in the area. Farmers lost a whole year's produce. Normally, they lay eggs and the next year you are wiped out again. After the first year's devastation the Governor of Minnesota asked the people to pray. They did. There were no grasshoppers the next year.

We have probably escaped major loss of life from this pandemic swine flu. Health officials are now relaxing precautions saying it is not as bad as feared. I know many have been praying. Yesterday on the National Day of Prayer many were thanking God for sparing us. There is no safety like the protection of the Most High. That is good to remember in trying times.

I don't think it would be appropriate to build a little chapel in thanksgiving and name it the Swine Chapel. Just keep the shrine in your hearts.

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