Paul Harvey once told the story of The Man and the Birds (type it into your search browser and you can listen). He tells the story, as only he can, about a man who skipped the Christmas Eve service with his family and stayed home. A snowstorm came and a flock of birds were trapped. He wanted to help them, to get them into the safety of his warm barn.
He tried to shoo them, he tried to catch them, he tried to lead them with a trail of breadcrumbs. But nothing worked. The birds didn’t trust him. They just could not believe he wanted to help. “If only I could become a bird,” he thought “I could lead them to safety myself.”
It is a wonderful story, especially around Christmas time, because that’s what Jesus did in the incarnation. We just couldn’t find our own way to God, we needed someone to lead us, someone we could understand.
Many years before Jesus showed us that mercy, King David showed mercy to a young man named Mephibosheth (2 Sam. 9:1-13). The young man was the only remaining heir of King Saul, David’s mortal enemy. Because of his grandfather’s name, Mephibosheth was in hiding. He feared King David.
In the world’s wisdom, it would make sense to eliminate the only other human with a claim to King David’s throne. But David pursued Mephibosheth, not to kill him, but to show kindness to him. David sought him out.
When David found him, he called Mephibosheth by name and brought the young man into his palace and family. David restored all that Mephibosheth had lost.
I call it the Gospel According to Mephibosheth. It took some time before Mephibosheth finally believed David meant to do him good and not harm, but it finally sank in.
Some folks have a hard time believing God intends us good and not harm. These are our neighbors at Robson Ranch. They are the birds in the snowstorm. God calls us to reach them. Yes, they may be a bit reluctant to respond to the good news, like the birds, like Mephibosheth.
God’s grace is truly difficult to believe. But once you understand it and accept it, grace changes everything!
We would love for you to visit New Life Church! Join us this Easter at 8:30 a.m. in the Sports Club gym. We’ll also celebrate a sunrise service on Easter morning at 7:00 a.m. at our North Denton campus or join us for a Good Friday service on the lawn of the Denton County Courthouse on the Square at 6:00 p.m.
Jim Mann, Ph.D. pastors New Life Church at Robson Ranch. This interdenominational church meets at the Robson Clubhouse on Sunday mornings at 8:30 a.m. Visit New Life’s website www.NewLifeDenton.org for more information or Jim’s new website www.drjimmann.com.