Feed my Chicks

The local blackbirds and I have fallen out. I called a meeting of their union, but no reps attended. The female is now building her third nest in my clematis. Once more, my ferns have been hacked and my carefully grown-from-seed dahlia plugs, lupin seedlings and hanging baskets have been dug up that her nest might be lined for a third brood. While this goes on, three fat chicks are in my little back yard, while their father feeds them. It’s a very traditional family; he goes out each day to put bread on the table while she keeps home. Or has she run off and made a new home, wanting a fresh start? Perhaps they are a modern family. Yes, having a third batch of chicks will be annoying. They wander into the house, they defecate on the garden furniture, the worm population is decimated and plants are damaged. I console myself that the slugs and snails fare little better.

Without a lie, I poked my head into the bush and told her she should be feeding her chicks and not busying herself making new ones. She needs to take parenting seriously and not leave all the running about to others. Any old broiler can lay eggs, I remonstrated, but real motherhood means feeding them once they hatch. The current ones only emerged from her previous nest two days ago.

She just stared back at me.

In his Great Commission, the Lord Jesus instructed us to make disciples, not converts or church-attenders. People who profess salvation in Christ must be fed, watered and instructed in the faith, not just left as a statistic in some mass evangelist’s annual report. At this week’s Bible Study, we shall consider Mark’s telling of the parable of the soils/sower in chapter 4. Many who hear the word wither and die, or have what they received pecked away. Yet even those who receive and keep it must grow and mature before they give their yield.

God ordained the offices of pastor and evangelist in the church. The two roles are not exclusive and the ministries of both are bound to overlap. There is a shortage of real evangelists in the church; there’s also a shortage of real discipling. I wish we had more people finding Christ; I wish we better discipled the few we had. The Billy Graham Organisation has a number of faults but it does at least ask churches to sign up that it might direct converts to good fellowships. Just as we each have a duty to witness to others, so we also have a duty to support and strengthen new believers.

Image by Gerhard Gellinger from Pixabay