It’s the thing of air traffic controllers’ nightmares—everyone landing or taking off at once, wingtip to wingtip, swerving, diving, changing course erratically. But this is no convention of crazed pilots, just a newly filled birdfeeder, for now the most popular bird hangout in the neighborhood.
I find it fascinating, this fusion of flutter and festivity, of feast and flurry. One moment the visitors may be all of one family. The next, three or four varieties play musical perches to an unheard melody. Their mannerisms vary as much as their sizes and color schemes. Some are bold; some timid. Some come and go quickly; others stay for a second helping. But all have one thing in common. They have all come to be fed.
It is said that when the “Iron Duke,” Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, returned from his great victory at Waterloo, he entered a grand cathedral and, making his way to the front, he knelt to receive communion. Soon a poor old man in rags also made his way to the rail and knelt beside the Duke.
Immediately, a vestryman approached the old man, touched him on the shoulder and whispered to him, “Say, my man, come away from there. Don’t you realize that is the Duke you are jostling?”
But before the man could rise, the great commander reached out a hand to prevent him from leaving. “Stay, my friend,” he said. “There are no Dukes at the foot of the cross.”
God has made each of us a unique being. Our stations in life may differ greatly in the eyes of the world. In appearance, in personality, in every way that man may use to separate us we may be as varied as the birds of the air. But when we come together at the foot of the cross, when we commune together around the Lord’s Table, when we lift our hearts and voices together in praise we are on level ground. We have one thing in common: we have all come to be fed.
A New Year
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