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The Birds of the Air

Look at the birds of the air, they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? (Matthew 6;26 New Testament)
This is the Bible verse which came straight into my mind when I saw the topic for this weeks LBC (Loose Bloggers Consortium).


Sometimes, when I was very young, I used to find this verse incomprehensible.  I knew that there was sickness, poverty and lack in the world.  So how could this verse be true?  I remember reading Isak Dineson's writings on life in Africa and laughed when I read of a young African boy who wondered why after his conversion to Christianity he was unable to pick up poisonous snakes without fear.  According to the Bible (NT Mark 16;10), he should have been able to.   

The truth is that Christianity is one of the most widespread faiths in the world.  But many Christians don't believe in much of its teachings, or maybe just a selective amount of the teachings.  It's just pick and choose religion, actually.  Here in India, where I live, a country of many religions and faiths, Christian just means a member of yet another religious group.  I remember feeling so angry once during a Mass in my early days in India.  Yash dropped me at the Cathedral for Mass on a Saturday evening.  During the sermon, the priest talked about how India was one of  the first countries in the world to adopt Christianity.  He boasted that 'many of our Indian people have a higher Christian ancestry than some Europeans.'  

It's true that Ireland was a rather wild and far out part of northern Europe back in the day, with the result that Christianity arrived on the island rather a long time after Jesus walked the earth.  As a member of the Irish race and therefore a mere Philistine in the eyes of some of the high born Indian Christians, I was really indignant.  I wanted to walk up to that priest and ask him why was he speaking like this.  In Christianity, it is not supposed to matter whether you are a new convert or from a line of baptized Christians that goes all the way back to St. Peter himself.  When you take Jesus as your Lord, you are a new creation.  Having Christian blood that runs all the way back to someone who was baptized by the very  disciples of Jesus Christ Himself (He never baptized anyone Himself, His disciples did) doesn't make you a more valuable Christian.

The Christian faith is not about which church you belong to, or which community.  It is not about whether you are married to a believer or a non-believer.  It is knowing in your heart that Jesus Christ is the son of God and that God raised Him from the dead.  That's it.  It is not about what you eat or whether or not you pray five times a day.  In fact, the Master cautioned us about religious pride, a very dangerous thing indeed (Matthew 6;5).

How do I know that Christians don't believe in their own faith?I have so many examples.  One Saturday evening, after Mass, I was standing at the door of the Church talking to someone.  One of the nuns from the local convent was also standing there and she had a terrible cold and a fever.  She'd had it for ten days.  I mentioned the healing Scriptures in the Bible and reminded her of Isaiah 53;5 "By His Wounds we are healed."  I might as well have been speaking Spanish for all the understanding she had of what I was saying.  If she wanted to use that Scripture for her healing, she'd have to repeat it and read it constantly in her prayer time.  But she was so indoctrinated in the routine of praying in her convent home she wouldn't do it, I knew that.

I've come a long way since those days when as  a child I pondered over the incredible promises written in the Bible.  I now know that they are all true.  But I also know that they are not automatic.  They have to be taken by applying faith.  God is ready to supply all our needs and we can avail of that advantage when we have faith in Him.

This is the weekly post for my blogging group, the Loose Blogging Consortium.  We post weekly (usually simultaneously) on a given topic and visit each other to see the different takes we have on the same topic.  We are, in alphabetical order, Conrad, Delirious, Rummuser,  Grannymar, Magpie, Maria SF, ocdwriter, Padmum, Paul, Rohit and Will.  If you have time, please visit my friends too.
This topic 'The Birds of the Air' was suggested by Magpie 11.

Comments

  1. Of course you are right about new v old Christians.
    I suppose the priest might have been trying to bolster local Christians' sense of belonging amonst other longstanding religions.

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  2. Any bible you read is only as accurate as the translator's knowledge of Hebrew. There are over 50 different translations of the Bible in English alone.

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  3. I regret that I am not qualified to comment!

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  4. We have to remember too that it's no picnic for the birds! They have to look hard and long to find food. They have to sleep out in the cold. They have predators that sometimes eat them. But God has provided a rich earth that does provide food. He also provideda natural instinct to head south in the winter. So even though the life of a bird really isn't easy, God does bless them.

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  5. You're right. Half the time we don't really expect God to deliver on what we ask him for. I'm always amazed at His goodness!

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  6. @blackwatertown: Oh, he probably was but it annoyed me, so it did.

    @Grannymar: as far as I know it is teams of translators rather than individuals who do that work. Having several different translations of the Bible can give you a great insight into the meanings of the different verses.

    @Rummuser - Kyon jhoot bol raha hai? You've read the Bible, I know you have.

    @Looney - Thank you!

    @Delirious - yes that is so true.

    @J.L. Campbell - That's right.

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  7. Yes what you say is true but we mustn't fall into the pit of believing that we have a two tier Christianity. If we have Jesus in our heart and are following him, then we must get on with that and not speculate on others' understanding or faith.
    I do know what you mean though.........
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

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  8. A great post! And so true. God just keeps on giving us and is amazing.

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  9. What an amazing post. But unfortunately I also am not qualified to comment much, though I loved reading your views, Maria!

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  10. Here here! A beautiful post, and so true...

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  11. @Maggie - You are right, of course, I don't mean to criticize the faith of others or compare myself in any way. It is just that I'm only now beginning to understand what the faith I grew up in is all about and a lot of the so-called religious teaching I had was quite misleading, I can see that now.

    @RomanceReader - it is so nice to read that others feel that God is so good and so giving.

    @Nas Dean - I'm so happy that you read the post and enjoyed reading it!

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  12. @Anna - Welcome back, Anna. I know we share similar views on faith and I'm glad you read this post.

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