In his wonderful ‘Sermon on the Mount’ Jesus Christ was encouraging his disciples not to worry or fret about materials things, such as what they would wear or eat.
I like to think that these men to whom Jesus was speaking were showing signs of concern at that time about how they were to provide for their families.
We know from the Gospels that they were ordinary people who made a living by such trades as fishing. They struggled with failure, just as we do. Perhaps it was a time when some of them did not even have adequate work.
Jesus invited these people to observe how gracious God was to provide care for the creatures in the natural world. ‘Look at the birds of the air,’ he said, ‘for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?’
I have been watching the little birds outside my kitchen window during the cold, snowy winter days. How hard it must be on these little creatures who do not have warm homes to live in with cupboards and refrigerators full of food. When the snow is deep and the ground is not exposed it must be difficult for them to get food.
So, as we usually do, we put up our bird feeders and filled them to the brim. My, how they flock to this source of nourishment! Not being an authority on birds I cannot identify them all. They seem to be mostly sparrows.
Suddenly it occurred to me: although God the great Creator is the first cause of caring for these little winged creatures, I am a secondary cause. Yes, he is the great source of all blessings, but he can use you and me to care for others, not only animals but people as well.
John Thornbury Served for many years as a pastor in Baptist churches in Pennsylvania and Kentucky.