Look at the birds (18-05-20)
Bible Readings: Matthew 6: 25–27, 10:29-31
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Watching the birds in the rectory garden has become a regular pastime over the past week or two. We have had a blackbird family with one baby hopping round daily. It has been a treat to watch the parent birds feeding their baby. The young blackbird has slowly got the idea of pecking around in the grass but clearly doesn’t quite know what it’s doing. I have yet to spot it digging up a worm for itself.
We were thrilled when we realized the new bird box at the back of the house had become home to a pair of blue tits. The eggs have now hatched, and we are treated to a daily frenzied flying display as they go back and forth to feed their new babies. I am really looking forward to seeing the babies emerge. I remember well a family of three baby blue tits last year, sitting side by side on a branch, then chasing each other around in a moment of childish fun and sibling rivalry. Delightful!
The garden has been alive with this new life and it’s all very therapeutic to watch. In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus tells us to look at the birds and to learn some important lessons from their behaviour. They are not bogged down with future plans. Their vitality springs from living wholly in the present moment and giving it all their energy. Their heavenly Father feeds them and cares for them and knows when they fall.
We are living with daily uncertainty and there always seems to be anxiety attached to the unknown. Watching the daily Coronavirus bulletins with all the facts and figures, doesn’t always allay fears, especially when projections and speculations can vary so much dependent on the latest data. Worry is easy, but it really doesn’t help. It can’t make life any longer, and in excess, worry will be detrimental to our health.
Instead, take heart! Look at the birds! Remember how much they are valued by God, and we are more valuable than sparrows or blackbirds or blue tits. God knows each of us intimately, down to the very hair of our heads.
Heavenly Father, thank you that you care for me so much. Help me not to worry about all the daily practicalities of life, but to remember your care and provision. Amen.