Life (and Christianity) is for the “Birds”!

Everywhere I turn, lately, that is the message I have been getting!

On this very blog, in the form of a Trinitarian paraphrase, John Stonecypher translated Matthew 6:25-30 in the following way:

(25) The secret is this: Just chill out.  Really.  Don’t even stress about the necessities of life, like food and clothing.  To worry is to be out-of-touch with the real world.  (26) Birds know this.  They don’t even have jobs; they just enjoy feasting every day from Papa’s own hand.  Can you imagine the possibility that he cares for you at least that much? (27) Worrying – even about the basics of life – is a complete waste of time.  (30) Flowers live for a day, and Papa clothes them wondrously for that whole day. Can you imagine the possibility that he just might take such good care of you?  Can you look outside your blindness, see with my eyes and glimpse the truth?

So THAT’S why the birds fly so freely (and the flowers grow so beautiful and quickly), they are “allowing” the Father to take care of everything and meet every need!

I am currently in a class at Grace Communion Seminary entitled “The Practice of Ministry”, and guess what one of the main reading assignments is? That’s right – a book entitled The Crucifixion of Ministry! In this book we are being taught that there is only one ministry, the ministry of Jesus Christ. We are not called to have or do our own ministry, but only to participate in Jesus’ ministry as He (Jesus) does it! Andrew Purves quotes Thomas Merton from his book entitled New Seeds of Contemplation, and writes,

“How does an apple ripen? It sits in the sun.” That was Merton’s metaphor for Christian piety. We are to abide in, rest in, and have our home deeply in Jesus. It is that easy… One of the most difficult aspects of piety is learning that in a sense, there is nothing we need to do. ~ The Crucifixion of Ministry, p. 119.

Talk about a pastoral ministry and life yoke that is more easy! UNDERSTATEMENT!

Finally, I have been re-inspired in my 2nd reading of Robert Farrar Capon’s book The Foolishness of Preaching with these helpful thoughts resulting from the scandal of the Gospel:

For in the end, nothing counts, and nothing alone counts, in the drawing of his Love and the voice of his Calling. Even your faith doesn’t matter. I mean that. Your faith may make a difference to you – to your enjoyment of the divine comedy you’re selling tickets to, and the hilarity of your pitches for it. But it doesn’t matter to God. He’s assured you that he’s brought the scenario of creation and redemption to its conclusion all by himself, without assistance from you or anybody. You may believe in him or not believe in him. You may trust him on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and decide he is full of baloney on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. And on Sunday, you may proclaim your faith in him, or prattle on about your erudition, or indulge your talent for quoting second-rate poetry. Or you can call in sick. But none of it will hold even an unlit candle to what he has done for you. ~ The Foolishness of Preaching, pp. 28-29

It is probably by grasping this subject that GK Chesterton is quoted as saying, “Angels fly because they take themselves lightly.”

Ha-Ha! I think I am finally getting the point and want to live more and more like the birds! How about you????

~ Timothy Brassell

4 comments so far

  1. saradode on

    Absolutely! But I’m also finding that learning to do something that should be SO easy is really hard to learn to do; we’re taught from so many sources that NOT striving, not having earthly goals, not getting caught up in the races for prestige, wealth, and social standing, is the WRONG way to live.

    But I’ve been working on it…and I’m happier than I’ve ever been in my life.

    Thanks for the great post (I haven’t read enough Merton yet–just enough to know that you pretty much can’t go wrong in quoting him!).


  2. Don Hussell on

    Thanks Tim, The Spirit keeps telling me to rest and I keep saying yes but keep doing, we are a crazy bunch. I understand more about Baxter.s teaching about us being in the dark. Please don’t rest too much, your comments do help some of us crazy people….Don

  3. tjbrassell on

    Sara! Thanks for tellin’ the truth! Sin makes resting the most impossible kind of hard work for us! Thank you Father that vicarious really means vicarious when it comes to your Son, cause we keep blowin’ things no matter what we do and try not to do, and we need Jesus to stand in for us all in everything! 🙂

    Hey Don! I think I am learning to rest even in the midst of my craziness and warped work ethic just like you! I’m resting in the fact that all of us in the crazy bunch are dead in our sins and alive ONLY in Jesus! So, I am going to keep messing it up along with you, and keep putting out these blog posts pointing to Him as long as he supplies His grace! Here’s to resting in our bad work because of His good work!! Ha-Ha!

  4. Boyd Merriman on

    I find this interesting in that as I was taking my early morning walk, when it is quiet (between 4:30-5AM) I am watching birds standing in the middle of the road watching me walk on by.

    I was reminded of the movie, “Bother Sun, Sister Moon”, in where Francis (Saint) was talking to the birds and animals and had that Disneys’ “Snow White” appeal to them.

    The birds seem to be watchful, but somehow, I think they knew I was talking to God about them.


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