The Birds of the Air

Matthew 6.25-33

 

Iím going to start this morning with an answer.Yes, Iíve got the answer.Yes, I know what the answer is, the answer to the question, that age-old question, Why?Why am I here?Why am I here?

Yes, I have the answer.Yes, I know why.I know the reason why.And why?Why are you here?

And the reason is, the answer is: because God wanted somebody to love.Thatís the reason.Thatís why you are here.God wanted somebody to love.

Think about it.Think of God all alone.God, all alone, but the Bible tells us that God is love.Imagine God, God who is love, imagine God all alone.God, who is love, and all alone . . . Well, something had to give, donít you think?God who is love, on the one hand, and God who is all alone, on the other, the two donít go together.And something had to give.

And it did.And, just like that, here you are, you and you and you and me and the world round about us.God is love.God is generous.God gives.God gives life to the world all around and God gives life to us.God give us our lives; each morning of our lives is given to us.Why?Why does God give you your life and why are you here?Because God is love and God wanted something to love.What God wants, the will of God:You.And you and you.

You and you.Yes, and the world around you.The world around us, all of it tells us of the glory of God, the will of God.All of it tells us of the love of God.

Just look.Look at the birds, said Jesus.Look at the birds of the air, said Jesus.They neither so nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.

And itís true.Birds donít sow crops or harvest them or store them in barns.Birds are not farmers.And yet they eat.And yet your heavenly Father feeds them.God loves the birds and is gracious toward them.Even the birds tell us of the glory of God, the love of God.Are you not of more value than they? asked Jesus.

Yes, the world around us, all of it tells us of the glory of God, the will of God. For God so loved the world . . .All of it tells us of the love of God.

Consider, said Jesus.Consider the lilies of the field.Give the lilies some thought, how they neither toil nor spin, and yet even Solomon in all of his glory was not clothed like one of these.

And itís true.Flowers growing in the fields, wildflowers, they donít work.They arenít shepherds with flocks to tend, with sheep to sheer and wool to spin and yarn to weave.And yet there they are in all their glory.Beautiful.God loves the wildflowers and is generous toward them.Even the lilies of the field tell us of the glory of God, the love of God.But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you? asked Jesus.

So why are you here?The answer is all around you.Even the birds and the flowers are telling you.They tell you of Godís love, that God is love, that God wanted someone to love.And that someone is you.And you and you.

Look at the birds of the air, said Jesus.Consider the lilies of the field, said Jesus.Said Jesus.Now, Jesus said these things some two thousand years ago.And he said these things to certain people.And these people, the people to whom Jesus said these things, they were losing everything.

Trying to pay the taxes required of them by their Roman occupiers, they were losing their fields and their flocks to the money lenders from whom they had borrowed to pay their taxes.The fields in which they had sown and reaped were gone, were no longer theirs.And their flocks, their sheep, which had provided them wool to spin and weave into clothing, their flocks were gone, too.

Destitute, left with nothing, and devastated, their towns and families torn apart, devastated and destitute were these to whom Jesus spoke these words.

These, these are the ones to whom Jesus said, Consider.Consider the lilies of the field.

The lilies, consider the lilies growing in the fields, growing in the fields that once were theirs, that once belonged to them.

Lilies.Weeds.Remembering how hard they had worked trying to keep those things from taking over their fields, Jesus tells them to consider these weeds, these lilies.They neither toil nor spin, yet Solomon in all of his glory was never so clothed.

Then he asked these people, if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you?He spoke to these people of Godís love for them.

And these, he said to these, Look.He said to these people, Look at the birds of the air.

Remembering, remembering how they used to shoo those birds out of their fields, trying to keep them from eating the seeds they had sown and, later, from eating the ripening grain, Jesus tells them to look at those birds.They neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them, said Jesus.

Then he asked them, he asked these people, Are you not of more value than they?Are you not of more value than the birds of the air?He spoke to them, these people, he was telling them of Godís love for them.

It was to these, these who had been uprooted, pulled up and uprooted like so many weeds, that Jesus was speaking.He was talking to people who had been shooed away like so many crows.

Look at the birds of the air, he said to them.And consider the lilies of the field.He was telling them of Godís love for them.

And it all doesóthe birds of the air and the lilies of the fieldóall of it, all of creation is telling you why you are here.It is all telling you of Godís love, Godís love for you.

So, this Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, you can give thanks.You can give thanks to God who loves you, who is generous toward you, who gives you your life, who gives you each morning of your life.

Give thanks, yes.Give thanks to God for Godís love for you.But also consider, consider the lilies of the field.And look at the birds of the air.They are telling you of the glory of God, the righteousness of God.

They tell of Godís love for you.You can be sure of that.But they are also telling you of Godís love for them, for him and him, for her and her.Even for those uprooted and shooed away.

This is the glory of God.This is the righteousness of God.This is the kingdom of God.

Let us seek it.Let us seek this kingdom of God and this righteousness of God.

Neal Kentch, Cottage Way Christian Church, Sacramento, California, November 22, 2009