If we were meeting in person, this is book club where I would come in, flop down on the couch, sigh, and say, “Y’all, I am here, but I have nothing to offer. Nothing. I’m glad to see you, but you are going to have to carry the conversation.” And because you care about me, you would.
The irony is this week the bird we are considering in Consider the Birds: A Provocative Guide to Birds of the Bible by
I read about love. I read about duty. I read, “We’ve been so inculcated in the church with the idea that sacrifice is good and beautiful and necessary, it’s a little hard to shift perspective–but maybe this is something that Jesus Christ our pelican is trying to get us to do. He isn’t trying to reinforce the system; he is trying to undo it.”
I thought about Mike and how I would not have known him or his family or the hundreds who now live in my heart if we had not all heard the call of our Beloved and followed it.
There is much in our line of work that is too tied to the “dark” side of sacrifice. Of duty. This conversation is a necessary one for our community. Do you feel you have sacrificed out of love or out of duty? Because God loves you or because God needs you to do something.
Caitlin wrote a moving bible study—You can get the bible study here. In response to the first question, “Contemplating the text above by Blue and Hebrews 9:25, what system do you see that Jesus is trying to undo through His sacrifice?” I wrote: The sacrificial system that life must be paid for by death. The sacrificial system seems so “Eden Lost”–In Eden, life didn’t come at the expense of death. Jesus reminds us that in heaven, death will not be a part of the story. He is trying to remind us of who we really are and will be. He is our pelican.
There are many beautiful and thought provoking lines I marked in this chapter. I am glad we are reading this bird-by-bird so that we can savor and think about each bird. Did anyone else laugh when Blue quoted from the chat board, “Pelicans are just jerks.”? I forget that birds can have personalities too. Those big pouches that can hold another bird until it swallows it alive. Ugh!
We’ve seen the Holy Spirit in the dove. And now Jesus in the pelican. I’m sorry this is random and not well thought out. I thought I’d have more nuggets of time to think and have access to the internet, but this is the short window I’ve got so that this can get to our image maker and social media team. So, here I am in our book club living room, flopped out on the couch. Needing you and your thoughts. Needing to hear what you think about this chapter so I can reflect on your thoughts and begin to sort through my own. Sacrifice seems all too in-my-face right now. And too costly and beautiful and horrible.
By the time you read this, Lord willing, I will have just landed back home and will be reflecting even more on the friends I will see that I haven’t seen in years. On the journeys the Lover of Our Souls has us on. On the cost and beauty of a life poured out in love for his Savior. I will be getting my bag, looking for my car, and readying myself for what the week (and weeks) will bring.
Anyone else need to flop on the couch next to me? See you in the comments,
with love, Amy
P.S. Next week we read about the quail :)!
P.P.S. Psalm 84 was read at Mike’s memorial service. The swallow and sparrow are mentioned—I wouldn’t have noticed if I wasn’t tuned into birds!