Friday, June 17, 2016

A Safe Place

"Even the Sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young--a place near your altar, Lord Almighty, my king and my God" Psalm 84:3

I came home from work on Thursday, and my wife Linda told me to take a look out our bedroom window and see our new neighbors. I peeked through the blinds and expected to see a U-Haul van pulled up to an adjacent apartment. "I don't see anything honey!?" "Look up above our porch," Linda answered. Sure enough: there was a nest built in the corner, where the rafters of the balcony above us intersect the wall. And sitting on the carefully constructed nest was, what seemed to my untrained eye, a beautiful oriole. 

Seeing her and anticipating the brood of babies that will soon hatch, God-willing, I thought of the Psalmist's description of what he saw one day on coming to the Temple. A mother bird must somehow have found access to the sanctuary and built a nest near the altar in which to raise her young.
Sparrow and swallows know where they've got it good, and that is in being close to God.
We need to seek God even more than the birds of the air, because we have sinned against God and our neighbor. The altar reminds us that Jesus, God's only Son, born of the Virgin Mary, offered up the perfect, once-for-all sacrifice to take away our sins.

In the aftermath of the terrorist attack on the Pulse Nightclub yesterday in Orlando, Florida, many are asking: "Is there any place that we can be truly safe?" I know that there is a home security company that goes by the name "Absolute Security." Not to burst their marketing bubble or contradict any political candidate, but alarm systems, arsenals of guns and bullets, and Big Brother government cannot provide the security we crave. Only God can. Jesus warns that others may take away our physical lives, yet those who perpetrate such violence have won nothing if the Spirit keeps us in the Christian faith. "If the Son sets your free, you are free indeed." The same God who feeds the birds of the air and marks every time a sparrow lights upon the ground will not allow anyone or anything to "snatch you out of His hand."

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