Devotions from Tri-City ELCA Churches – Pastor Tia Pelz of Christ the King, August 4, 2021

Devotion for August 4, 2021, from Pastor Tia Pelz of Christ the King:

Dear Saints! 

The last year has brought us quite some change. Mostly DONT’S. I won’t list them, you know them by heart. And it hurt. The missed opportunities still hurt. Yet, there were also some new discoveries for many of us. Like, that I can spend time with my family 24/7 while working and homeschooling and not go totally nuts. That was a surprise. Or that YouTube workout videos actually work if there is no alternative. We walked the same streets over and over again. And for a while our neighbors were literally the only people we saw without masks. Over the fence, gardening or playing with the dogs. 

Some of you connected with neighbors you had before hardly known by name. Strangers became part of the community we were limited to. And some neighbors started rituals. On my block we have been having our “Friday dance party at 5 for a year now and it’s simply wonderful. 

Someone told me this beautiful story about the neighborhood’s bald eagle couple in Ardenwood, Fremont. Thanks to the pandemic’s entertainment limitations, suddenly those birds became the greatest attraction. Every evening neighbors gather to watch the couple come home and feed the young. A community of bird watchers, united by the majesty and inspiration of majestic birds. 

The eagle has always fascinated people. It’s said to be strong, the king of the air, and caring, mating for life, co-parenting the young ones. The eagle has served as an emblem of a nation’s power and strength since the early Persian and Roman Empires, where it was depicted in architecture, atop flagpoles and currency. In the Persian Zoroastrian religion the eagle was holy because it eats unclean things like rats and snakes and dead things. In the old Roman religion, it was Jupiter’s companion. Jupiter is often depicted accompanied by one of his eagles or changes himself into an eagle for disguise. 

You will find the eagle or two headed eagle in the state emblem of Russia, Poland, Germany, Liechtenstein, Austria, Czech Republic, Serbia, Montenegro, Albania, Romania, Moldova, Armenia, United States, the Philippines, Mexico, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Namibia, Nigeria, Zambia and Ghana. When a country uses an eagle in its flag, it sends the message that it’s a nation with great power, strength, independence, endurance, and beauty. So, everything everybody wants to be.  

In the Old Testament, God is compared to an eagle, hovering over us, protecting us, guiding us. Which is interesting since the eagle is considered to be un-clean to Jews as a bird of prey.  

“As an eagle stirs up its nest,
    and hovers over its young;
as it spreads its wings, takes them up,
    and bears them aloft on its pinions,
the Lord alone guided him.” (Deuteronomy 32:11-12) 

It’s really everything we have been needing throughout the past 17 months. And probably everything we will need for the next 17 months in readjusting to a new reality that so much looks like the old one and yet feels differently. 

“And He will raise you up on eagle’s wings,
Bear you on the breath of dawn,
Make you to shine like the sun,
And hold you in the palm of His Hand.” 

May you feel that comfort, 

Pastor Tia! 

(On Eagle’s Wings sung by Michael Crawford for your daily dose of emotions: ) 

Picture credit: Dan Sarka, Fremont 

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