2018-05-16 / Faith

Church: A place to call home

Lessons from the Heart
By Pastor Mark Miller

Miller Miller While sitting at my desk, over the last week, I have watched some robins building their nest on a windowsill. The work birdship that goes into a nest is amazing. They spend hours carefully gathering just the right size sticks, grass and strings. I have no idea how they carried the mud into the nest as one morning it was fully lined with hard packed clay. Over the next three days, momma robin laid four eggs and started to sit on them. She obviously had no fear that I would bother her, because she barely moved when I looked at her from only inches away. As I watched the robin build on the church it reminded me of another person a few thousand years ago who also saw some birds in a nest at the local worship center. I do not know exactly who wrote the song, but I do know it was written by one of sons in a musical family and sung to a tune called “Gittith.”

Psalms 84:3 tells us, “the sparrow has found her a house, And the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her eggs, Even thine altars, O Jehovah of hosts, My King, and my God.” What a great place to live in security and peace. The songs writer goes on to explain some of the benefits of living in, or in our case, being part of the family of God. The first fact he mentions is the blessings of dwelling in God’s house. If we want our lives blessed by God we need to be part of the work He is doing in the world. The moral strength of a nation is only found in the place where God dwells. I personally love verse seven, where the song writer tells us that those dwelling on in the house of God will gain strength after strength.

Next time you see some robins building their nest ask yourself if you are dwelling in the place God wants you. Be assured that dwelling in the house of the Lord will bring the showers of blessing we all desperately need in life.

Psalm 84 (CEV), “LORD God All-Powerful, your temple is so lovely! Deep in my heart I long for your temple, and with all that I am I sing joyful songs to you. LORD God All-Powerful, my King and my God, sparrows find a home near your altars; swallows build nests there to raise their young. You bless everyone who lives in your house, and they sing your praises. You bless all who depend on you for their strength and all who deeply desire to visit your temple. When they reach Dry Valley, springs start flowing, and the autumn rain fill it with pools of water. Your people grow stronger, and you, the God of gods, will be seen in Zion. LORD God All- Powerful, the God of Jacob, please answer my prayer! You are the shield that protects your people, and I am your chosen one. Won’t you smile on me? One day in your temple is better than a thousand anywhere else. I would rather serve in your house, than live in the homes of the wicked. Our LORD and our God, you are like the sun and also like a shield. You treat us with kindness and with honor, never denying any good thing to those who live right. LORD God All-Powerful, you bless everyone who trusts you.

Mark Miller is the pastor of the Burlington United Methodist Church.

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