Pastor Tim

Devotions from Tri-City ELCA Pastors – Pastor Tim of Holy Trinity, September 22, 2020

A hummingbird feeding on a flower

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God is a Birdwatcher

My family decided during the summer that we would add some new flowers to our backyard. As we were discussing our options for plants and flowers, the patient and knowledgeable worker in Gardening noted: “The hummingbirds love these ‘Salvia Greggii.’ I have these in my backyard and the hummingbirds are always around them.” Well, that sold us. We purchased three. True enough, there has not been an evening gone by without seeing a hummingbird.

There is something fascinating about birds. Maybe it’s their infinite variety and beauty. Maybe it’s because they can fly and we can’t. Some people dedicate their lives to taking care of them. They spend a great deal of time watching and photographing birds.

Did you know that God is a birdwatcher too? That’s part of what Jesus is saying in Matthew 10:29-31:

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. And even the hairs of your head are all counted. So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.

So what do we learn about God by listening to Jesus in these verses? Well, we learn that God loves birds. Sparrows were very common birds. The poor often used them for food. Sparrows were sold very cheaply – you could get two sparrows for one penny. If you spent two pennies, you could get four sparrows and an extra one for free. That’s how little value and worth sparrows had.

Jesus tells us that God knows and cares about even that fifth little sparrow that’s seen as almost worthless! EVERY sparrow is precious to God! Not one sparrow falls to the ground without our Creator knowing and caring about it.

But Jesus isn’t really talking about God’s love for birds. Jesus is teaching us about God’s love for every person! He’s saying to us, “Just think! If God cares so much about every sparrow, then how much more God must care for each of you!” Jesus says that God knows us so well that God even knows how many hairs we have on our heads! Of course, God has been doing more subtracting than adding lately on my head!

Please hear what Jesus is saying to us. God loves each one of us! We all matter! We are of great value! We are not just another face in the crowd. God created us, we are unique and one of a kind! Each of us precious.

It’s sad that many people today do not know this great truth. They feel like they don’t matter – that they are worthless like that sparrow. Perhaps some of you feel like this – that no one loves you, that no one really cares whether you live or die. But hear this from Christ- there is someone who cares, who understands you, who knows you better than you know yourself, and who loves you more than anyone – God our Creator!

You may get the message from the world that you are as worthless as a sparrow, that you don’t matter at all, that you are all but forgotten. Here is Good News, God has not forgotten you! God hasn’t given up on you or abandoned you either. Do not give up on yourselves! God cherishes you!

Cherish yourself and cherish one another.

Part of the overwhelming tragedy and pain of these past months have been the incidents in which we have NOT treated one another with love and respect. Unfortunely, we have a very long history of not treating each other as precious and valuable. We cannot continue in this path. As we are all loved and precious in God’s eyes, we are called to work toward all persons being treated this way.

As we live our faith in the world may we bring this Good News in not only our beliefs, but our actions and passions.

Pastor Tim

A bird sitting on top of an owl

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