…I (the Lord) will plant it; it will produce branches and bear fruit and become a noble cedar. Birds of every kind will nest in it; they will find shelter in the shade of its branches (Ezekiel 17:23b).
Twenty birds were perched on a telephone wire. One of them was shot. How many birds remained on the wire? None. (Since the remaining nineteen were instantly up in the air.)
I think “up in the air” is an apt description of humankind today. The shot that got us there was the sudden appearance of Covid-19. Now, keeping us there, is the virus’s continuation, along with previously festering but now flaring racial, political, international, economic, and social unrest.
Ezekiel, a prophet of God, was addressing an “up in the air” catastrophe in the sixth century BC—the invasion of and exile of Israel by the Babylonians. Into that chaos Ezekiel speaks hope with the metaphor of a noble cedar where birds will find food and shelter.
We were inspired when God drew Alex’s attention to this Noble Cedar metaphor and applied it to a future home for our CCC family.
Now, on the brink of building that home, the vision is even more compelling because there are so many “birds” up in the air. Four years ago we couldn’t have imagined this immense intense need for body, soul, and spirit food and shelter.
Back in 2017 Alex said Ezekiel’s was “a vision of God building a community where all peoples might come and be served, find shelter, and ultimately meet the Lord Himself.”
Squarely facing what “all peoples” meant, early on a friend and I had a frank discussion about which birds—sparrows? ravens? eagles? —would be challenging for us. If we are going to have a Noble Cedar for birds of every kind, this is an important conversation to have.
We need to become aware of how heart-prepared we are to embrace birds seeking refuge. We, as well as they, will, after all, be needing God’s transforming work within.
Lately I have settled into praying “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
Our Noble Cedar—aligned with Ezekiel’s vision of the time Christ would reign—will be an outpost of God’s Kingdom come on the earth of Chatham County, NC.
God has put us here for such a time as this to be the resident birds who welcome the refugee birds. For all us birds need Him and one another to survive and thrive.
Father, we want to be prepared to welcome all kinds of people to our Noble Cedar outpost of Your kingdom. We surrender to whatever transformative work You know we need to be readied for this calling.