When morning gilds the skies
My heart rejoicing cries
May Jesus Christ be praised!
Alike at work and prayer
To Jesus I repair;
May Jesus Christ be praised.
Edward Caswall (1814-78)
During the summer months I am awakened in the early morning, barely before the light steals through the curtains, by the chirping of a bird who perches on a tree beside the bedroom window. The sound fills the room like a flute playing a favourite tune. Birds are so full of song. It is no wonder that in China a favourite early morning walk is often taken with a bird in a cage. But the cage do not stop the birds from singing! The men carry their birds to a meeting place and hang their cages up on the branches of a tree, sit and listen to the singing and sometimes talking of their feathery friends. I visited one of these bird meeting in Xi’An an ancient capital of China. It almost reminds me of St. Paul, in prison with Silas. Beaten and bruised they were praying and singing hymns to the Lord. Do you remember? 'Around midnight, as Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to the Lord--and the other prisoners were listening--suddenly there was a great earthquake; the prison was shaken to its foundations, all the doors flew open--and the chains of every prisoner fell off! (Acts 16:25-26)
Though caged Paul and Silas, like the birds in Xi’An, were joyful.
On another occasion I was spellbound by the birds, about a thousand of them, perched on the campus roofs, in single file, just as the sun was beginning to go down,. They sang an evening song, an anthem of praise, for the sound was loud and filled the whole university campus.
‘Look at the birds!’ Jesus said. ‘They don't worry about what to eat--they don't need to sow or reap or store up food--for your heavenly Father feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than they are. Will all your worries add a single moment to your life? And why worry about your clothes? Look at the field lilies! They don't worry about theirs. Yet King Solomon in all his glory was not clothed as beautifully as they.’ The birds do have much to teach us for they are God’s creation.
Why worry? Jesus uses the example of the birds who are cared for by his Father because it is certain that we are more precious to him than birds. There is a lesson in looking at, not only birds but all that God has created, the stars, the sun, the moon and the earth so full of beauty and life.