Thursday, March 14, 2013

Pastor's Perspective - The Lectern of a Bird Feeder

Jesus was the master teacher.

Those who heard Him were astounded by the things He conveyed. Matthew records that people were amazed by His teaching (7:28). He had the uncanny ability to draw attention to something ordinary and most often overlooked, and make it the object lesson of a spectacular truth.  He knew His audience and He knew their experiences and spectrums of reference. So, He referenced things everybody understood.

Many years ago I learned a good lesson on evaluating one’s audience when I continuously used football metaphors in a senior ladies bible study! I can still see the blank stares.

Jesus is still the master teacher!

Recently He has been teaching me and reminding me of spectacular truths, not through the great works of renowned theologians; but instead, the lectern of a bird feeder!

For the last few weeks I have enjoyed spending time on our back patio. Recent landscaping upgrades mixed with our beautifully mild California weather have made relaxing in my backyard a welcomed part of my day. A safe distance from our bistro tables, hanging in a tree is a bird feeder that my precious wife Michelle strives to keep filled with seed. Over the last several weeks, our yard has become an airport of sorts as a continuous stream of winged guests fill the trees above the feeder, hop beneath the feeder, and call from neighboring trees waiting their turn to land and dine.

I have been marveling at the sense of organization the birds utilize. Each grouping has a turn, while the others patiently wait and warn them of gawking adults and crouching cats.

I have been noticing the vast array of differentiation they possess – in anatomy, movement, communication and appearance – the genius of a master Creator and artist.

I have enjoyed watching the Lord provide for their unique needs, reminding me to rewind to the Teacher’s command to not worry – ‘Look at the birds of the air..’ (Matthew 6:26).

I have observed something that inspires me. When the birds gather on the ground beneath the feeder, a bird flies to the feeder ledge above them and with his beak shovels seed over the edge to the hungry birds below. Sure the bird eats some seed, but his task is to ensure that others are fed. The Lord has been reminding me of the simplicity of my calling through this reoccurring behavior.

Perhaps the greatest and most timely message the Teacher is sharing with me through the birds is to slow down, rest, sit and simple open my eyes and heart – to be teachable. The Apostle Paul tells us that God has revealed Himself through the natural world He has created (Romans 1), and Hebrews 13:8 states that Jesus is the same teacher today that He was in the gospel narratives. He’s still teaching lessons through very simple and ordinary things. The question is, are we stopping long enough to watch and listen?


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