Hagerstown Church of the Brethren
15 S. Mulberry St., Hagerstown, MD 21740
Phone: 301-733-3565 * FAX: 301-733-3598

"Church in the Heart of the City with the City at Heart"
Continuing the work of Jesus. Peacefully. Simply. Together.

The Pastor's Pen - July 2024

Bird watching has become a favorite pastime for me and Don. We have great seats to watch the birds that call our yard home. We have had wrens and chickadees build nests in the front yard; and robins, mockingbirds, blue jays and house sparrows make nests in the backyard. I have longed for bluebirds to make our yard home, but a house sparrow with persistence, has claimed the bluebird house as his own.

It is interesting to watch the birds fiercely guard their nests and the fledglings in them. We have watched as parents swoop down to chase off threats. We have listened to the vocal warnings sent to deter the enemies. Although there have been some casualties, there have also been little ones who persevere and move on to continue the cycle of life.

In contrast to the efforts and successes we have observed…there is that one male house sparrow who has taken over the bluebird house that seems to have a different agenda. Even though I tried to discourage him from making the bluebird house his home, he seemed to win the battle, and I thought he had a nest with young ones in the house.

But then, Don told me that he observed the house sparrow chase off females who tried to enter the house. We also noticed that little ones did not come to the hole of the house to be fed, as we have observed others do in the past. So, I opened the door to the house and saw only a few twigs in it. There was no nest or little ones. Apparently, this one crazy house sparrow wanted the bluebird house just for himself. He selfishly was defending his own interests. I guess he was missing the instinct gene.

This led me to think about our journey as Christians. I was thinking how everyone is created by God and with that we have this special connection and draw towards God. Yet, not everyone welcomes that connection. Granted, some may not have been nurtured or invited to seek a relationship with God; which should remind all Christians that we have work to do. But then, there are others who just don’t want God in their lives because they are too busy…call it selfishness…with their own interests.

God did not create us to be loners. God created us to be a family that supports, nurtures and protects one another. We inherit His Spirit that inspires us and directs us to care for our relationship with God and with each other; and for each other’s needs. Our prayers should be that we are always in-tune with one another; especially noting and reaching out when a deeper need for the family’s love is needed. Our prayers should also ask for the awareness and the guidance to reach out to those loners who reject God and the family of God. Perhaps with an encouraging word and extended actions of love, they will accept a welcome into the family of God. Let us work together to this end, to be family and to grow God’s family.

God bless you all, my family.