On Beehives And God's Little Ones

September 22, 2013
by Diane Eaton

Matthew 10:42 – And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward. (NIV 2011)

Matthew 18:10a – See that you do not despise one of these little ones. (NIV 2011)

Honeybees live in well-organized family groups where the survival of every bee, from the moment the queen bee lays her egg, depends on the combined effort of the entire colony. Worker bees clean and polish the cells, feed the brood, care for the queen, remove debris, handle incoming nectar, build beeswax combs, guard the entrance, and air-condition and ventilate the hive. Then, as field bees, they gather nectar, pollen, and water for winter survival.

How bees divide the labour baffles our minds, but we are certain that every task counts. Every single droplet of water given to a tiny larva contributes to the wellbeing of the colony. All effort is directed toward the goal of the survival and reproduction of life. No energy is wasted on diversions or any activity that hinders the propagation of life.

I've come to see the honeybee colony as an ideal picture of the church. Imagine the church functioning like the beehive, where every member is regarded as vital to the wellbeing of the church, where the community has an instinctive sense of its purpose. Here, every vulnerable "little one", whether young in age or in the faith, is protected and nurtured through the various roles fulfilled by one another.

Human beings don't possess the instinctive programming that bees do. We depend on the Spirit of God to birth Christ's life within and to transform each of us. God matures us through the functioning of our relationships. And we can be sure that, where the Spirit is at work, no little one will be neglected or misguided. After all, here the highest goal is the propagation and nurture of life — ultimately the life of Christ.

Prayer: O Lord, much of what we see under Your name has failed to produce and nurture life in Christ. Some of us have been among those little ones who were neglected or harmed. And we ourselves have unwittingly failed Your little ones. We now cling to Your promises of forgiveness and hope, and the ancient promise that You Yourself will rescue the lost ones and those who have been driven from You. Renew our passion to partner with You in this mission, that many will be healed and revived by Your sweet name. Amen.

About the author:

Diane Eaton <d.eaton@bmts.com>
Paisley, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    So true Diane.


    Thank you Diane.


    Beautifully written and expressed. Thank you.


    Thank you so much, Diane. That is a wonderful analogy and very motivational.


    Excellent devotion. We can all learn from it.
    Thanks.


    Dear Diane,
    A wonderful prayer follows a great devotional.
    “Amen ” from me too.


    Good to see your name again.
    There seems to be so much bad going on in the world and I really appreciate the peace we enjoy in Canada. God has blessed us!


    Dear Diane, I found your devotional really helpful. The situation in my church is that a few are trying to do everything and then express a fear of “burnout.” I pray that we may learn that every person can contribute something to the welfare of our Christian community. Just give us a chance and then encourage us. I found the reference to bees a good example.


    Good Evening Diane:
    What an interesting and enjoyable devotional taking us through the exciting and well organized life of the honey bee. Oh that we were so organized and devoted to the King of our very existence, the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and ready and do very willing to do His will without any hesitance whatsoever.
    A fine message and one of great challenge.


    Thanks for your thoughts Diane.
    I always wonder when I see those huge churches on television with hundreds of people,
    just what happens to the ”little ones”? I hope they do have some sort of follow-up afterwards.
    During my career as a teacher it was always the tallest best looking boy and girl chosen for head students. The sports teams had only the strongest and biggest. When I took all thirty of my lads and gave each one a turn on soccer field I was very unpopular for losing so often. But parents thanked me for giving their kids a chance to wear their school’s jersey. It turned out that at the final tournaments we always did well because all my little guys had been given a chance.
    Blessings.


    Dear Diane
    Thank you for you wonderful and wise words. I pray God will bless you and yours and that He will continue to inspire you to write to us all.


    Amen Diane, amen. When we feel as if our meager effort counts for naught, you remind us of the bees and the bigger need. Thank you. Blessings.


    Good morning Diane Eaton!! I thank and Praise God for Diane Eaton and for her inspirational and meaningful gifts in writing Presbyterian Devotionals.
    I sent your devotional to the Session members. “I’ve come to see the honeybee colony as an ideal picture of the church. Imagine the church functioning like the beehive, where every member is regarded as vital to the well being of the church, where the community has an instinctive sense of its purpose. Here, every vulnerable “little one”, whether young in age or in the faith, is protected and nurtured through the various roles fulfilled by one another.” I want my church to be such a community!
    Thank you for your time, and energy and I Thank God for your gifts. Your faith and insight helps and inspires me.
    God Bless you!!
    We cannot reach new horizons if we fear to leave the shore.
    Amen to your email and prayer!


    Thanks Diane
    For reminder the order of life in God’s design for sanctuary and faith communities.
    Blessings.


    Thank you, Diane, for your meditation(s). This one about bees helps me now. The statement ‘We depend on the Spirit of God…….’ is what I needed to ‘hear’ today.
    In the relaxation of dependence on Him.

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