We had a visiting pastor Sunday and I am chuckling here, because I really do have some idea of how much work goes into exegesis, research, good doctrine. That’s like, blood, sweat, and tears. Don’t forget the spiritual warfare pastors sometimes face. That’s nothing to sneeze at, either.
All that hard work and then some twerp like me comes along and goes, duckies, he spoke of baby duckies! It was all about the fluffy little, yellow chicks!
I jest, Hebrews, he was preaching from Hebrews, but the beautiful thing about putting the Holy Spirit in charge, is that He makes sure you hear just what you need to hear, that you get just what you need to get.
The pastor just so happened to mention something else I have been focused on, reading the bible in a literary context, understanding the intention, culture of the time, and definitions. He put it in a very simple way and validated something I have been studying, so I really appreciate that. He quipped about how in ancient days every part of your body today was about six inches down. When they speak of “the heart,” they are really speaking of what we today would call “the mind.” In biblical times our emotions did not live in our heart, they actually lived about six inches down in our bowels. That’s how we got the term, “in your gut” or “your gut feelings.”
Just something to keep in mind.
Ah, but the baby duckies! I just so happen to have been dreaming about baby chicks. In one dream we were trying to have a bible study and we were over run with all these baby chicks. It was very funny, this pastor I know was trying so hard to speak and to keep order, but there were all these baby chicks crawling up his legs and out of his pockets. I don’t know what it all means, but it has something to do with the need for a united church.
I have a lot of blog posts around getting the church ready for her Groom, woke, although not “woke” in the modern cultural definition, but “woke” as in ready and functioning collectively as she should be. We are one body. So my baby ducky dreams are related to that theme. We are preparing for a wedding! Unity, celebration, jubilation.
So when the guest pastor spoke of, a united church and baby ducks, I sat right up, let me tell you! It sure caught my attention.
He told the tale of baby birds, duck chicks, and how when they hatch they will imprint with the first thing they see. If you are a baby duck, you want to imprint with a mama duck. A mama duck will teach you duck things, like how to swim and fly, what to eat. You are a duck, you need to know these duck things.
But what if you hatch next to an armadillo and imprint? What if you think you are an armadillo? Armadillos don’t swim, they don’t fly, and they don’t eat what ducks eat. When a predator attacks and you have a shell, curling up in a ball like a pill bug makes a lot of sense.
But a soft, fluffy duckling, curled up in ball? Totally useless. A duck chick is just not an armadillo.
Who we imprint with in our life really matters. When we learn to abide in Christ, it is a bit like imprinting. Or perhaps, re imprinting. He makes straight our crooked paths, He sorts out our thinking and our being.
It got me thinking. Many of us seeking Christ have actually imprinted with an armadillo. Sin itself is much like being a baby chick that has imprinted right next to an armadillo. Nothing quite makes sense, nothing quite works right. Ha! Some of us have actually followed some genuine human armadillos too, people I sometimes call orcs. (No offense to real armadillos, I’m sure they’re quite lovely.)
Just the same, orcs will sure make you learn to curl up into a little ball like a pill bug and try to hide.
We people can be much like chicks, completely unaware we are actually baby ducks, and not really armadillos at all. You are made in His image, a Divine creation, the righteousness of Jesus Christ within. He calls us by name, He invites us to His table. He restores us to a right relationship with the Creator of the universe Himself.
I think many of us, both inside and outside the church, do not really know who we are or, Whose we are. We’re still afraid to be seen and to be known. It’s hard to be bold sometimes. Today though, that boldness is needed more than ever, the kind of boldness that can call people by name and remind them of who they really are in Jesus Christ.