Wednesday, October 12, 2011
A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household. So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven. Matthew 10:24-33
We have a bird feeder in the back yard. It provides hours of viewing, watching the traffic of birds and the various shades, types and sizes of feathered visitors. Since we live in a town that has been designated a bird sanctuary, this time of year we find ourselves overrun with "birders". Many migrating birds stop here for a respite before traveling on to their winter homes, so it is a perfect place to sight many species. I am astounded at the lengths folks will go to observe the birds and reminded how carefully God cares for the smallest and least, and how much beauty and capacity even the smallest creature of creation has been given.
Jesus has sent the group out to minister to the people far and wide. He tells his followers not to fear, that they are held tenderly in God's care. I am sure they were terrified of what lay ahead for them. It is normal and human to be anxious about the road ahead, and to be afraid of being abandoned, attacked and undone. Times were tough then as they are now and many were anxious for the care of themselves and their loved ones. Like the present, we are surrounded by anxieties for the future. And today Jesus speaks directly to each one of us, "Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows."
Today, I ask God to give me the strength to set aside fear and embrace the promises made. I ask God to help us all know that we are prized and loved, cared for by a compassionate and tender Creator, who has our safety and our tomorrows in hand.