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June 2013 - The Duck Story Again

The Duck Story - Again

During the MLA 8th grade graduation address, I shared one of my favorite stories, the Duck Story.  But I had some of our members say they had not heard it before.  So though I did share it in a newsletter article several years ago, I thought it worth sharing once again, as it is a good illustration of the joyous and freeing gift of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Enjoy!

There once was a young farm boy named Billy, who loved almost more than anything to go out with his bee-bee gun and shoot at various targets and objects around the yard.  He loved to pretend he was defending his home, but one day, while he was defending his family, while he was sneaking around the barn, he quickly jumped around the corner of the barn and took a shot--but to his horror, he saw the bee-bee strike a duck in the yard and kill it instantly.  Now this was no ordinary duck, it was practically a family pet that loved his father, it would even loving follow the father all around the farm yard while he did some of his work.

     As the crushed and terrified boy picked up the limp body of the duck, he quickly decided to try and hide this horrible mistake, and snuck into the barn, dug a hole and covered it up with hay.  But he could barely cover his own remorse and fear.

     That night at dinner, of course the conversation turned to about the duck.  "What happened to the duck?"  "Do you know what happened to the duck?"  Everyone kept discussing and asking questions about it.  Billy couldn't dare to look at his father's face, but quietly stared at his plate.

     Now the next day, the hired hand came up to Billy and said "Time for you to fill the woodbox".  Billy answered, "I'm not going to fill the woodbox, that's your job".  "Billy, I saw what happened to the duck yesterday.  I saw you shoot it, dig a hole in the barn and bury it and cover it with straw.  What do you think your father would say if I told him what I saw, Billy?"  Well the boy wasted no time in filling the woodbox.

     The next day, the hired hand came up to the boy and said, "Time for you to clean out the chicken pen".  Billy answered, "That's your job, I'm not going to clean that out".  "Billy, what do you think your father's going to do to you after I tell him about the duck?"  Well Billy immediately set about cleaning out the chicken pen.

     Well this went on day after day for several days, and Billy was dragging around the place, with all of the extra work on top of his chores, but mainly from the guilt, for he still could not look at his father's face.  He just couldn't take it anymore, and so finally, with tears in his eyes, he went to his father and confessed, "Daddy, I killed the duck, and buried him in the barn--I'm so sorry"--and he ran into his father's arms.  His father said, "Son, that's okay, I forgive you--it will be alright."

     The next day, the hired hand came up to Billy and said, "Well, the woodbox is getting low again, time for you to fill it."  "NO, that's your job and I'm not going to do it!"  "Billy, remember that duck and your father..."  And Billy joyfully shouted back "I already told my father about the duck, and he told me that its okay, that everything is alright--so get away from me, I am not going to do it!"  He had been freed from the burden and slavery of guilt and fear, freed by the forgiveness of His loving father. By confessing his sin, he was able to be restored to the relationship with his father that he enjoyed before, not having to hang his head in shame, or walk in fear that his accuser might tell his father bring down punishment.

My family in Christ, because of the cross and tomb of Jesus, your Father has already declared you forgiven, completely.  In the waters of your baptism, God has washed away the stain of your sinful guilt and the accuser satan has nothing to accuse you of.  It's okay, it's alright--all of your sin has been forgiven.  There is nothing that you have done or could do that is beyond the shed blood of Jesus, it is already washed away.  You don't have to be afraid, you can go to a loving Father like that.

     There is no need for you to try and cover up your deeds from your Father--He has already seen what you have done, thought, or said.  And, He has already forgiven it for Jesus' sake.  There's no need for you to listen any longer to the accusing voice of satan in your ear telling you what you've done and what God's going to do to you--no need to hang your head in shame, instead you can go to your loving Father and confess your sin without fear for you know that He will forgive you.  Indeed, looking back at your baptism, you know that He has already forgiven you.  Live in that freedom and joy!

Pastor

 

 

 

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