Luke 12:6-7,24 – Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! (NIV)
The canaries were singing their little hearts out on the front porch, greeting me as I came home from school for lunch. The place? Bermuda — where I grew up. I often slept in the warm sun to the sound of their singing! Even today, the sound of canaries singing is enough to calm me, carrying me into God's presence!
Birds are God's lovely little ones, so it was no surprise to me that I took a parakeet to church one day as an aid in telling the children's story. Safe in its cage, the bird was listening as I told the story of how a bird kept flying into the living room window, knocking itself out. Poor little thing, it didn't understand when I tried to tell it that there was danger ahead. I wanted the children to realize that there is a similar communication block between us and God. Do we understand spiritual matters very well, or do we just bulldoze our way through, pretending to have the truth?
Jesus came to earth to bridge this communication gap. Through His life and death, we see God at work, illustrating for all time just how much God loves His creatures — the birds and all of us. "Then [Jesus] opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures." (Luke 24:45 NIV) We can understand a lot more now because Jesus' Spirit reveals the truth to us. At least, this was what I was trying to tell the children gathered around me, when a little boy got up and let the parakeet out! Sitting quietly at his feet, the bird was resting and listening too. Then it took off into the rafters, set free to reach its potential in flight.
Besides our sin that enslaves us, there is much in life that cages us and prevents us from reaching our potential: poor health, loss of a job, worries about grandchildren, death of a spouse. The list goes on and on, as do the years, and we misunderstand why it is happening to us. When God touches our lives with the forgiveness of our sins and the reassurance that life's misadventures are all part of His loving plan, we hear Jesus' voice gently calling us as we fly to the rafters of God's house, where we are warmly welcomed and understood.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You for coming to this earth to explain to us how much You love and care for each of us, as You do for earth's little things, like the birds. We look up and are drawn into Your embrace. You open life's cages and let us out at the foot of the cross of Jesus, in whose name we pray. Amen.