An Irish Welcome

Céad Míle Fáilte friend and rover ...
Wherever you come from and whosoever you may be.
That's an Irish greeting and it means

you are welcome
a thousand times over.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The lonely sparrow

The sparrow is one of the most common birds on earth; a tiny little bird whose life is of little value. Wherever you go you will be sure to see and hear them - they are a cheerful little bird with a beautiful song and are really happy when they are in company. In the "Easter Poem" of Venantius Honorius Clemantianus Fortunatus, "... the thickets now resound with the whisper of birds; amidst these the sparrow sings with exuberant love. O Christ, Thou Saviour of the world, merciful Creator and Redeemer ..."

But in Psalm 102:7 we find a lonely sparrow:

"I watch, and am as a sparrow alone upon the house top" (Psalm 102:7)

The Psalmist, usually so joyful in the Lord, is feeling depressed, distressed and forsaken. He feels just like a lonely sparrow.

There are countless times when we feel like a sparrow alone on a rooftop. In these moments, we should remind ourselves that we are never far from His presence, care and concern. He knows "what things we have need of before we ask" (Matt 6:8). We should remind ourselves that the sparrow is not blessed with outstanding plumage and is not really worth much by our standards - "Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing?" (Matt 10:29). However, Christ comforts us and says, "you are of more value than the sparrows" (Matt 10:31). We should remind ourselves when we are alone on the rooftop; God cares for even the tiniest sparrow. Christ said, "One of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father" (Matthew 10:29) ... God watches over Creation and over His own children and promises us that He, "will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." (Hebrews 13:5).

"Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted" (Matthew 5:4). We are being prepared and then " ... God will wipe away all tears from our eyes" (Revelation 21:4).

We are never lonely if God is with us.

I sing because I'm happy,

I sing because I'm free,
For His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.

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