First United Methodist Church, Lewistown, PA 17044  ~  717-248-4618   ~  fumc200@outlook.com

We are our own worst enemy.

August 27, 2016

Hummingbirds are amazing creatures. Hummingbirds are territorial. Hummingbirds are skittish.

Hummingbirds are overly fearful. Hummingbirds are highly competitive. Hummingbirds are mean.

I love to enjoy the daily antics of our hummingbirds. 

* Hummingbirds can do amazing acrobatic maneuvers and are simply beautiful.

* They hover in mid flight, drink the nectar, and are always aware of impending dangers.

* They sit on the feeder rail, nervously looking all around as though something bad will happen at any moment.

* They snip and dive-bomb other hummingbirds who are sitting on the feeder rail.

* They suspiciously look in the window reflection at the brazen hummingbird sitting on the rail defiantly looking back.

I can't help but draw a distinct comparison between these beautiful but silly little birds and our own human nature. 

We:

* Have amazing abilities.

* We know where to go for sustenance.

* We exist; all the while nervously glancing right and left for dangers that will probably never arrive.

* We squabble with others who we believe are out to get our nectar (even though the feeder has 10 other feeding tubes).

* We fail to distinguish the reflection of our competitor is actually us.

        "Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, 

        “Follow me!” Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This

        was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray

        you?”) When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?” (John 21:19-21, NIV)

In this text, Jesus has just offered grace and forgiven to Peter in light of Peter's betrayal. This intense time of accountability for Peter is brought to a head by Jesus. There is a definite directive to Peter here. Jesus, in three specific statements, recommissions Peter to be about Kingdom work. Three times, Peter hears it, and three times he affirms Jesus' command. It seems as though Jesus has gotten a powerful disciple back on track.

Then....in a hummingbird moment, Peter sees the competition arrive. John, the disciple whom Jesus loved is nearby and Peter immediately loses focus. "Lord, what about him?"

Peter: 

* Can do amazing things.

* He knows where his strength comes from.

* He agrees to be fruitful for God.

* He immediately questions another disciple's purpose.

* He wants to start a conflict with one whom he identifies as a competitor.

* He fails to see that his chief competitor is himself.

Jesus is calling each of us to Him and He is giving each of us specific tasks to complete in the Kingdom of God. There is no shortage of work to do and people to love. If we expend inordinate amounts of time worrying, fighting, or posturing with others, then nothing of any value will ever be done through us for the kingdom of God. Hummingbirds are amazing creatures that have odd idiosyncrasies. We too have interesting quirks. Let's not allow our quirks to keep us from doing amazing things for God.

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