Saturday, November 29, 2014

The Birds

One of the scariest movies ever was Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds . Ironically, Jesus used the example of birds to illustrate the concern of the Father while Hitchcock turned those same winged creatures into instruments of terror. As we just have passed through a special time of giving thanks in our country, I thought it would be good to remember the Lord's concern for these very small creatures. The following is from January 19, 2006.

My sophomores continued our study of the Sermon on the Mount today in Bible 10. On most days, we begin with a quiz over reading assignments before diving into note taking. As is usually the case, we are further along in our reading notes. Our fourteen question quiz was taken from Mark 8 and covered Jesus feeding the 4,000. It appears his apostles had no idea how Jesus could feed such a multitude when just a short time before, he had provided ample meals for a crowd that was 25% larger. We think short attention spans are solely the property of this generation raised on television and the Internet- apparently not! When the Lord asked them about the specifics of the previous miracle, they knew the statistics of leftover loaves and fishes but comprehension of what he had accomplished escaped them, perhaps in both a physical and spiritual sense. His last words to them on the matter were, "Do you still not understand?" As we opened our notebooks and turned back to Matthew 6, our launching point was the Master's teaching on the futility of worry. As examples, Jesus spoke of nature's relationship with the Father in heaven. King Solomon's finest wardrobe cannot stand side-by-side comparison with the beauty of a field of lilies. Will not God take care of our clothing issues when he is so caring of flowers that bloom and die? We worry about finances but Jesus holds up birds as evidence of providential concern for our needs. God provides for the winged creatures despite what we consider in humans a shortcoming- they don't work! There's an old man in my apartment complex I see very early in the morning. He puts out bread scraps for the birds that live in the tree by the gate I enter and exit. Maybe that is how our God handles it! Jesus concludes his exposition on birds by asking, "Are you not more valuable than they?" In Matthew 10, Jesus elaborates on this matter. "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father." I am no math scholar but let me try to couch this in mathematical terms, sort of A = B, B = C, so A = C. God cares for the birds. I am more valuable than birds. God cares for me. It sounds so simple.

Tonight as I came to my classroom before heading to Bible study, I had a great reminder of God's love for you and me. I saw three dead birds on the ground, one just a baby. They had no names, they had no burial, they had no future but Jesus told us those three birds were of concern to the Father. How can I fret when I have that kind of protection? Whatever my dilemma of the day, and we have one everyday, he is there. Jesus says God already knows what we need. What is there for me to do? Jesus throws that part of the equation in for us, too. "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." What a promise- and yet we forget just as quickly as those twelve followers of Jesus after he made a feast that would more than feed my hometown out of just five loaves and two fish. If our spiritual house is in order, our temporary house of flesh and blood can withstand the times of desperation inevitable in this physical world of birds and lilies. It's a matter of priorities; first things first.

Applicable quote of the day:
"God loved the birds and invented trees. Man loved birds and invented cages."
Jacques Deval

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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Devin Turner said...

Hey coach, nice blog and YES i read it this time! I hope we have a good lesson today!!

Jon said...

sounds alot like we do...haha

Razgriz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Razgriz said...

Wow coach Hawley enormous coincidence?? On that day there were a lot of birds in my grandparents' backyard and my grandma asked me if I had seen the movie "The Birds." Scary