3rd June 2020

Feed the Birds

“The woman came to Jesus and she went down on her knees in front of him. ‘Sir, please help me’ she said. Jesus did answer the woman this time. ‘It is not right to take bread from the children and then to throw it to the dogs.’ The woman replied to Jesus. ‘Yes sir, that is true. But even the dogs eat the small pieces of bread that fall from their master’s table.’”
Matthew 15:25-27 (Easy English)

We have a set of bird feeders strategically placed in front of our largest living room window. These are filled with foods known to attract the smaller British birds to feed, whilst we sit and enjoy watching them as we relax with a drink.

Different birds feed on different foods, and at different heights. A variety of food attracts a variety of birds; sparrows, robins, blackbirds, bullfinches, chaffinches, goldfinches, great tits, coal tits, long-tailed tits, wrens, and great spotted woodpeckers – not all at the same time. It’s fascinating to watch their different behaviours—teaching their young how to feed, the squabbles they have; how territorial they are and so on.

However, also feeding on this food are magpies, moorhens, chickens (ours), pheasants, rooks, jays, wood pigeons, partridges, squirrels and regretfully rats. This can be exasperating and expensive, yet we understand they all need to eat even if we don’t want to feed them all!

In the above passage, Jesus was telling a Greek woman, born in Syrian Phoenicia (Mark 25:26), he had come to the Jews, not the Gentiles. Thinking quickly, the woman described how the crumbs still slipped through, proposing that Gentiles were accidental recipients of God’s grace at that time.

Around thirty years after Christ’s ascension, Emperor Nero was in power; an alleged murderer known for being ruthless, violent and vindictive. Yet Paul wrote to his protégé Timothy in Ephesus, saying “And he [God] wants to save all people. He wants everyone to know his message and to accept it as true.” (1 Timothy 2:4). Paul was telling Christians to pray for everyone, including this ruthless ruler! (1 Timothy 2:1-3).

Just as I don’t want to feed certain birds and animals – are there people I don’t want to pray for or consider unworthy of being saved? I’m sure we all have a view on who we consider is undeserving of God’s grace! Yet despite our personal prejudices, God wants everyone to be saved (John 3:16-17), and asks us to pray for them all.

Prayer
Lord God, regardless of who we are and what we have done, I pray that you would bring everyone into relationship with you.
Amen

Study by Irene Tibbenham
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About the Author:
Irene Tibbenham is a Deaconess and serves on the Pastoral Council in the Norwich Congregation of Grace Communion International.

Local Congregation:
GCI Norwich
New Hope Christian Centre
Martineau Lane
NORWICH
NR1 2HX

Meeting Time:
Saturday 10:30am

Local Congregational Contact:
Tony Goudie
Phone: 01508 498165
Mobile: 07931 580409
Email: tony_goudie@wcg.org.uk
norwich@gracecom.church

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