“Consider the ravens.” (Luke 12:24).
The day that I am writing is 23rd February 2023. I note that because today marks exactly 20 years on from the time that I was preaching at our church on Luke 12:22-34. A passage in which Jesus addresses the issue of worry and anxiety and summons his disciples to consider the ravens.
Before the service I had the usual activity of meeting people and ensuring everything was in order prior to the start of our meeting. In the midst of the hustle and bustle, my 11 year old son said: ‘Dad, there’s a dead crow in front of the rabbit’s cage.’ A strange comment which I thought I’d deal with later. But, it proved to be sooner than I anticipated, for an elderly lady, Nancy Brown (now passed on), asked if I had some milk so I quickly ducked back to our house. As I looked out the kitchen window I remembered my son’s comment – and there it was: a dead black raven. The timing was astonishing. I fixed up the milk matter and then found a box. The congregation had a very concrete object lesson that morning when I referred to Luke 12:24 and pulled this black bird out of a box. ‘It’s a sign’, muttered elderly Ted Jarrett to me afterwards over morning tea, while another friend, Kevin, when he saw the bird in the bin, informed me that the black crow often symbolised the devil in literature.
Later, as I mused upon their comments and what just happened on that Sunday in 2003, it was Luke 10:18 which came to mind: ‘I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.’
Two decades on and I remain thankful for how our Heavenly Father has looked after us through the past 20 years as we ‘seek his kingdom’ (Luke 12:31). Thanks be to God.