On Sunday, November 21, not only did our valiant and faithful group of youth serve as liturgists, preachers and singers in both Worship Services, they prepared Thanksgiving meals to share with Linda, Steve and TURK, The Jeffers Family, Louis and Betty. On that day, we also Celebrated the Gracious and Bright-Eyed life of Dot W. We, who were present, got to hear Bryant sing, "His Eye Is on the Sparrow," one of Dot's favorite songs. Bryant can sing!! It was a full circle Sunday. We observed how much our youth are growing and maturing in faith, humor and responsibility (some of you remember when Blake was born, now he's in Middle School!) At the same time we observed Dot's death and resurrection.
On Monday, after lunch with Joe, he pointed to a dead tree, "See that?!" I would have missed it if he hadn't pointed it out. Evidently, Joe's eye was on the sparrow--an empty bird nest. The home of a feathered family, built with twigs, pine straw, leaves, fabric strings picked up in parking lots. The nest, probably lined with bits of soft down woven in with twigs and sticks, was warmed with the body heat of a Mama who tended her eggs until they hatched. Until they were fed enough in the painstaking regurgitation process of the way birds feed their babies. (I won't go into the unsavory details of that here.) Until their first test flights, until their first forays into finding their own wormy food. Until their final take off to land somewhere else, independent and make a life of their own, beginning the circle of life again.
Morehead Church is a nest of sorts, that each home in which the youth visited, taking Thanksgiving gratitude is also a nest. That Dot's beach house which she generously shared with family and friends was a nest for sun, fun and vacation rest. Farther, feather, or is it further (?) then, God makes Mary's womb the nest for the baby bird Jesus, who eventually takes flight from the manger only to take flight a short 33 years later from the tomb. When Jesus takes flight in the Incarnation by being born, as well as in the Resurrection through his death, it is so our hearts, our very lives, might be his nest. God wants our hearts to be the nesting place for the Spirit, so we might feed it, nurture it, watch it grow and leave us only to be multiplied in someone else all for the sake of God's love for us through the baby bird Jesus who just longs to love us and gather us into his nest.
Grace & Peace,
"How often have I desired
to gather your children together
as a hen gathers her brood under her wings,
and you were not willing!"