With the cold weather that has come our way the birds are flocking to my feeder. For that reason I’m checking the feeder regularly so that I can keep it filled with sunflower seeds for them. Yesterday I pulled out a heated bird bath I purchased last year since the water was freezing in the one I had set out. I know it’s important that birds have a good source of water this time of year. I’ve seen a variety of woodpeckers around the feeder which has served as a reminder it’s time to put some suet out for them. I really do try to take care of the birds that visit my yard.
As I watched my birds feed and drink earlier today I found some satisfaction in knowing that I am able to provide for them. This led my thoughts to reflect on how I, too, have someone who takes care of and provides for me. This particular time of the year we cannot help but remember that in Christ God has graciously provided for our many needs. Although Genesis 1:1 teaches us that “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” the New Testament attributes the work of Creation to Christ or “the Word.” John 1:1-3 tells us that Christ has always existed with God as the Word and that “through him all things were made that has been made.” In Colossians 1 Paul echoes this thought and says concerning Christ, “for by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible…” (v. 16) Yes, the one whose birth we celebrate each Christmas is the one who created the world and in so doing provided for our many physical needs.
At Christmas, however, we tend to remember that Jesus came to provide for still other needs. The angels who spoke to the shepherds outside Bethlehem that first Christmas brought “good news of great joy that will be for all the people” and that good news was that “a Savior has been born to you.” (Luke 2:10-11) Having already provided for our physical needs through Creation Christ came to earth to meet our spiritual needs, especially our need for salvation.
Yesterday I read an article on Facebook that a friend had shared which stated that Jesus is not “the reason for the season.” The writer explained that Christ had always existed with God so we cannot look at his earthly birth as his beginning. He went on to say that the real reason for the season was you and me. It was our need for salvation and eternal life that caused God in His infinite love to send Jesus into the world. God saw our need and responded. That’s why there is a Christmas to celebrate.
As I watched my birds earlier today and thought about all I was doing for them I wondered if they were aware that someone was taking care of them. I also wondered if they appreciated my efforts. The same questions can be asked on a different level. Do most people realize that there is a God who is taking care of them? Do they appreciate what God is doing for them? Hopefully during this busy and exciting season each of us will pause long enough to remember Someone is, in fact, providing for our needs. Hopefully we will also pause and offer thanks for the way those needs have been met. That would certainly be the appropriate thing to do. Wouldn’t you agree?
(I’ve included some pictures I’ve taken of the birds that come to my feeder.)