‘And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.’ Genesis 1:20
Whether it is because there is less traffic noise, or fewer planes in the sky, or because the days are gradually getting longer and warmer, but the bird song in our garden seems to be louder. I used a decibel meter app on my phone, and it said that the noise level was equivalent to a busy café. When I wake up in the morning just before six, the sound seems almost deafening, and in the evening as I’ve sat in our garden the birds seem to be calling out and shouting to each other, proclaiming the majesty of God.
Theodore Roosevelt, before he became President of America in the late 1800’s wrote several books on bird song and even came up with a notation method to describe their calls. I have no idea how he did this, as whilst I can see and hear the multitude of different birds; the blackbirds, robins, doves, sparrows, starlings, woodpeckers, crows, tits, and more in our garden, it seems almost impossible to describe the rhythmic and beautiful calls that most of them make let alone distinguish between them. But then at a few minutes past nine pm, it suddenly and almost imperceptibly goes silent. All the birds together and in unison stop, waiting to start up again at dawn. It was evening and there was morning – another day…
The Bible in Genesis reveals how God created the world and everything in it, how everything is formed for a purpose and comes together for the glory of God, but then how this perfect order was disturbed by the fall, as Adam and Eve sinned and were banished from the garden and death enters the perfect world.
‘The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork.
Day unto day utters speech, And night unto night reveals knowledge.’ Psalm 19:1-2 NKJV
But then the Bible continues to show how God is not absent from His creation, He acts throughout history making a difference in the lives of men and women across the continents and across the ages. The heavens and the earth both reveal His wonderful, unlimited creative nature and men and women of faith have recognised this and sung God’s praises.
Each day is a new day and the birds continue to mark the passing from one to another, the stars mark the seasons and the world groans and waits for God’s perfect order to be restored.
Jesus in His life and ministry recognised God’s lordship over all of creation, His death destroyed death and His resurrection was a foretaste of the restoration to come to the whole of creation.
Another day will come when Jesus will return – the Bible is very clear on this. Will there still be found people who praise and worship Him in spirit and in truth?
No matter what the world faces now, no matter what our trials and difficulties are, we can look to God’s creation to remind us that He is still in control and that His love remains. His glory never fails and the birds, as they cry out in praise morning and evening, declare His unfailing promise day by day.
Revd Stuart Huntley