How often I have longed to gather you under my wings…

I took these pictures of Juvenile starlings clamouring over a feed tray at the weekend. When I showed them to a Christian friend at work today, he immediately looked at the first one and quoted Jesus saying: “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how often I have longed to gather you under my wings, yet you would not…” I realised in that moment that there were other pictures in the collection that could also have parallels for some of us today.

If you have ever seen and marvelled at the wonderful synchronisation and unity in a murmuration of mature starlings, you will know how different that sight is from the squabbling rabble of juveniles in these photographs. Sometimes we must seem like these young birds, thinking only of ourselves and our own agendas, with no vision for what we are to become. But one day Jesus will gather His church under His wings, and we will all be one; and on that day we will be like the murmuration in the last picture, swooping and soaring as one in the freedom and the purposes of the Spirit.

Wherever we are as believers today, let us take heart in the fact that our Lord is not going to leave us there: He has a vision for His church, and it will be accomplished in all who will seek His presence and hold onto His word. I offer this series of images in the hope that they will inspire some of us to take another step forward in our journey towards full maturity and unity in the Spirit, when, no longer children, we will “all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;” (Eph 4:13).

Jerusalem, Jerusalem… How often I wanted to gather your children together,
like a hen gathers her own brood under her wings, and you refused
(Luke 13:34)
“Do not be like your fathers, to whom
the former prophets preached, saying,
‘Thus says the LORD of hosts: “
Turn now from your evil ways and your evil deeds.
But they did not hear nor heed Me,” says the LORD!

(Zech 1:4)
Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart
of unbelief in departing from the living God;
(Heb 3:12)
“Blessed rather are those who hear
the word of God and obey it.”
(Luke 11:28)
He who supplies the Spirit to you and works
miracles among you, does He do it by the works
of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
(Gal 3:5)
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted,
forgiving one another, even as
God in Christ forgave you.
” (Eph 4:32)
“Not giving back evil for evil, or reviling for reviling,
but on the contrary, blessing, having known that you were
called to this, that you may inherit a blessing; “
(1 Peter 3:9)
“And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one:” (John 17:22)

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