I call upon You, Lord, God of Abraham and God of Isaac and God of Jacob and Israel, You who are the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the God who, through the abundance of your mercy, was well-pleased towards us so that we may know You, who made heaven and earth, who rules over all, You who are the one and the true God, above whom there is no other God; You who, by our Lord Jesus Christ gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit, give to every one who reads this writing to know You, that You alone are God, to be strengthened in You, and to avoid every heretical and godless and impious teaching.

St Irenaeus of Lyons, Against the Heresies 3:6:4

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Trusting in God's Providence--Stick Your Neck Out

I normally find House Sparrows emptying my feeders irritating.  They actually rake out the millet and milo to get to the sunflower seeds, dumping what they don't want on the ground.  With five feeders to keep stocked, that little habit makes me want to reach for the Daisy!

However, Fanny pulled off these interesting shots of a female House Sparrow a couple days ago, and I couldn't help but see some joy in them.

Jesus enjoins his disciples to "Look at the birds of the air..." (Matt. 6:26) and adduce a fortiori the greater-greatness of God's fatherly care for the needs of his people.  Similarly, elsewhere Jesus mentions sparrows (στρουθίον) to illustrate the Father's providential care for believers (10:29--31; cf. Lk. 12:6--7).  Commenting on these passages, Cyprian, following Jesus' line of reason, remarks,

"God feeds fowls, and daily food is afforded to the sparrows; and to creatures which have no sense of things divine there is no want of drink or food.  Thinkest thou that to a Christian--thinkest thou to a servant of the Lord--thinkest thou that to one given up to good works--thinkest thou that to one that is dear to the Lord, anything will be wanting?...What does a faithless heart do in the home of faith?  Why is he who does not altogether trust in Christ named and called a Christian?  The name of Pharisee is more fitting for you" (The Treatises, in ANF, V:479). 

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