Have you ever migrated away from a church, compelled or pushed to leave its “nest”?
This Sunday we start a new sermon series, “Consider the Birds,” where we’ll use the language and habits of birds to explore important issues of spirit. We’re in good company as we consider birds our sacred text. Jesus himself said, “Consider the birds,” as he taught about God’s providence.
Migration and Nests will be our focus this Sunday, as we gather at both 9AM and 10:30AM. I chose this topic, of course, because we have been out of our “nest” these past ninety days, away from our chapel during quarantine.
Not having a spiritual nest is a struggle, but can spur important insight. Leo Tolstoy, reflecting on a time when he had exhausted his overly-intellectual faith, wrote this: “But I kept coming back to the conviction that I could not be the fledgling fallen from a nest that I felt myself to be. . .If I have been cast out, then who has cast me out? I cannot help but feel that someone who loved me gave birth to me. Who is this someone? God. ‘He sees and knows of my search, my despair, my struggle,’ I would say to myself. ‘He exists.’ And as soon as I acknowledged this for an instant, life immediately rose up within me, and I could sense the possibility and even the joy of being.”
Indeed, the three-month loss of our nest has brought our own spiritual insights. Many have spoken about the power of Sunday worship in our chapel, and its significance to their faith and progress. Without that Sunday nesting, faithful practices like prayer and forgiveness became more difficult. Even self-discipline waned, as people felt alone. Without that hour in our chapel, God’s loving presence seemed elusive.
Migration can be a gift – a time apart can bring clarity and growth. But, as you are ready, come back to our nest and “consider the birds” with us and Christ!