September 15, 2023

Lost Birds

Proverbs 27:8

Like a bird that flees its nest is anyone who flees from home.

—  Proverbs 27:8

For several years, birds have built nests on or near our home. One year we watched robins hatch on the ledge outside our kitchen window. The mother robin could see us through the glass, and at first she was wary of every move we made. But she grew used to our presence, and we could watch how she tended her young. The nest, for them, was a safe place, warm and protected from predators until the chicks were ready to fly.

In a similar way, we need churches and families to serve as spiritual homes, protecting us and providing for our needs so that we can be prepared to face the world God has given us to live and work in. Unfortunately, we sometimes try to go our own way before we are ready. We make foolish choices in friendships, and we may get into trouble with the law. We rush intimacy and find ourselves in a romantic relationship before we are ready. We imagine that we are spiritually mature, not needing Christian community, but then we find (too late) that we are unprepared for moral challenges that the world can throw at us.

Home is a place to cultivate the habits that bring us close to God: Scripture reading, prayer, mutual accountability, and confession of sin. We all need the protection and provision of Christ. Let’s not take for granted the gift of a spiritual home.

Savior God, you long to gather your children as a hen gathers her young under her wings (Luke 13:34). Guide us to value your care and the gift of a spiritual home. Amen.

About the author — Joel Vande Werken

Joel Vande Werken has been a pastor since 2007, serving churches in Sussex, New Jersey, and in Whitinsville, Massachusetts. He and his wife, Brandie, have five young children.

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