Good for the Goose: 1

‘Look at the birds in the sky!’ Matthew 6:26 CEV

Speaking to an anxious crowd, Jesus said, ‘I tell you not to worry about your life… Look at the birds in the sky!’ You might think, ‘Huh? What can I learn from looking at a bunch of birds?’

If you’ve ever been to Pennsylvania USA in early winter, you’ll have seen the skies literally darken as multitudes of Canadian geese gather for their annual flight to the sunny south. For the next few days let’s look at their behaviour and learn from it.

Geese fly united; they don’t fly separately, or go about in a random way. Fact is, no goose alone can go that distance. They’re designed to fly in their characteristic ‘V’ formation. When a bird flaps its wings the air movement created provides an uplift, easing the workload of the bird behind it. Together, their flight range increases about 70 per cent. Even the youngest, weakest and oldest geese can make the trip. They accomplish together what they could never accomplish separately.

There’s a lesson here: when the Bible says, ‘Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another…’ (Hebrews 10:25 NIV), it means, ‘Stay in fellowship with one another, and enjoy the uplift it provides.’ You’re not called to fly solo. ‘The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!”’ (1 Corinthians 12:21 NIV)

Occasionally a goose strays off on its own but soon becomes exhausted, loses altitude and ultimately pulls wearily back into the formation.

‘Look at the birds’, and learn.

SoulFood: Matt 27:62–66, Mark 1:9–13, Ps 6, Deut 21:22–23

word4today an adaptation of The Word For Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright © 2019

Today’s Readings

Matthew 27:62–66 ()

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62 The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate 63 and said, “Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise.’ 64 Therefore order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples go and steal him away and tell the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last fraud will be worse than the first.” 65 Pilate said to them, “You have a guard of soldiers. Go, make it as secure as you can.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard.

Mark 1:9–13 ()

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In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”

12 The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. 13 And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. And he was with the wild animals, and the angels were ministering to him.

Psalm 6 ()

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To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments; according to The Sheminith. A Psalm of David.

6:1   O LORD, rebuke me not in your anger,
    nor discipline me in your wrath.
  Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am languishing;
    heal me, O LORD, for my bones are troubled.
  My soul also is greatly troubled.
    But you, O LORD—how long?
  Turn, O LORD, deliver my life;
    save me for the sake of your steadfast love.
  For in death there is no remembrance of you;
    in Sheol who will give you praise?
  I am weary with my moaning;
    every night I flood my bed with tears;
    I drench my couch with my weeping.
  My eye wastes away because of grief;
    it grows weak because of all my foes.
  Depart from me, all you workers of evil,
    for the LORD has heard the sound of my weeping.
  The LORD has heard my plea;
    the LORD accepts my prayer.
10   All my enemies shall be ashamed and greatly troubled;
    they shall turn back and be put to shame in a moment.

Deuteronomy 21:22–23 ()

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22 “And if a man has committed a crime punishable by death and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, 23 his body shall not remain all night on the tree, but you shall bury him the same day, for a hanged man is cursed by God. You shall not defile your land that the LORD your God is giving you for an inheritance.

Tue 23 April, 2019


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