OK, so I'm a sucker for clever bumper stickers--on other people's car bumpers, not mine. When Joy and I were over at Itasca State Park last Sunday afternoon I saw one that was new to me: TREE-HUGGING DIRT WORSHIPPER.
"Nice to know there are still some unreformed hippies running around," I mused. But then I pondered those four words more deeply...
"Dirt worshipper." Pretty down-to-earth, one of my favorite ways of talking about God's way with us...incarnational to the core, wrapped in flesh, fully human (a word related to "humus," dirt) while fully divine.
The One I worship is described, in at least one place in the scriptures, as a Second Adam ("Adam" from "adamah"--dirt, in Hebrew, cf. Romans 5:12-21). Dirt has worked its way into God's DNA.
Am I, in some sense, a "dirt worshipper?"
But "tree-hugging?" I don't think so....unless...we're talking about that Tree, the one on which the Savior of the world hung. The Tree to which we cling for life and freedom and a fresh start.
I guess I do hug that Tree--yes? And I hope you do, too.
TREE-HUGGING DIRT WORSHIPPER.
An appellation for only neo-pagan eco-freaks?
Or might that bumper sticker describe even souls like me, who worship the Word-made-human (humus), who hug for dear life the Tree of Life on which was wrought the salvation of the whole world.
Hmmm. I wonder where I can get me one of those bumper stickers....
Lawrence Robert Wohlrabe was born in Mankato, MN. He graduated from Minnesota State University, Mankato, and Luther Seminary, St. Paul. Luther Seminary awarded him a Doctor of Ministry degree with distinction.
Ordained in 1981, he served parishes in Willmar, MN; St. James, MN; and Moorhead, MN. He was also on the staff of Luther Seminary, St. Paul, and the SW MN Synod ELCA, Redwood Falls, MN. Larry was elected bishop of the Northwestern Minnesota Synod on June 10, 2007. He was re-elected bishop of the synod, to a second 6-year term on June 7, 2013.
Larry's wife, Joy, is retired after working many years as a hospital and hospice social worker. They have two young adult children, Erik and Kristen (married to Aaron) and two grandchildren, Olivia and Micah. Note: the views expressed here are Bishop Wohlrabe's views--not those of the NW MN Synod.