People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God.
My husband, Danny, and I enjoy feeding our backyard birds and, indirectly, the many squirrels which inhabit our forest. Our squirrel-buster bird feeder pictured above and featured in a previous post regrettably gave up the ghost several weeks back. Danny wastes no time acquiring another one from our local big box store.
What a beauty! We hang it exactly where the old feeder was, and soon, the birds resume their feasting, and the squirrels gather beneath the feeder to snatch up any seeds which fall to the ground.
There is only one problem. The perches on this new feeder are smaller than what we had on the older model. While small birds, like chickadees, nuthatches and wrens, are having the time of their lives, the larger birds, cardinals in particular, are finding this new arrangement awkward and prohibitive. Within a day of installing this new feeder, they quit coming altogether!
We are distraught. The weather is frigid and we are worried that our cardinal friends who have become so dependent upon this food source could suffer.
"I know what we can do," says Danny. "I'll just go back to the store and get a second feeder, one with a bigger place to perch."
And, so, he does. Isn't this the cutest thing ever?
We hang it on a pole not far from the bustling feeder, confident that it will soon get noticed as an alternative, and attractive, feasting place. An entire day passes with no takers. We even rake away leaves and spread birdseed on the ground beneath it to attract the squirrels which, in turn, we hope will capture the birds' attention.
But, it doesn't . . .
"Here's an idea," Danny says. "Let's put the feeder the birds like on the pole and hang the red one in the familiar location. Maybe, that will do the trick."
But, it doesn't . . .
All right, to be fair, a few brave, bold birds do perch briefly on the little red house, but the chickadees still swarm the elongated feeder which looks more like the one they've been used to. And, the cardinal? He sits on a nearby branch looking forlorn and confused. We feel sorry for him, but realize, of course, that he will have to somehow figure out this new feeding arrangement on his own.
In the end, it isn't until we allow the preferred feeder to run out of seed that the little red house sees substantial traffic. At long last, our backyard birds discover a sumptuous feast which was ready and waiting for them all this time.
We finally decide to hang both feeders on the same line. Working!
Just like the birds, we can be such creatures of habit, so used to looking at things one way that we miss God's call to see with His eyes. When we are too busy gathering up the crumbs under the Master's table, we forget that, just above our heads, a feast has been spread, one to which we have been lovingly invited. Because, the Lord doesn't want us to settle for crumbs; He wants us to have life and live it abundantly.
The feast is prepared! You are invited! Will you attend?
Prayer: Loving Father, You have called us through Your Son, Christ Jesus, and Your Holy Spirit to feast on Your Word and rejoice in Your grace and salvation. May we always seek Your kingdom first, knowing You will provide for our needs and help us to live the abundant life You have planned for us. Amen.