‘Yea, the sparrow hath found her an house, and the swallow a nest where she may lay her young.’ I’m sure there’s some symbolic thing going on in this psalm–sparrows and swallows no doubt meant something to the ancient Hebrews, like if we were to say that someone’s chicken or struts like a peacock or don’t be an ostrich and stick your head in the sand. What that symbolism is, however, eludes me thoroughly. But the overall meaning of the passage is clear enough: even the birds of the air can’t help themselves, they throng to the Lord’s presence. So much more should we!
Remember, though, that the Temple was thought of as quite literally God’s house. Our Christian understanding of where to find God’s presence is a bit broader. Yes, church buildings are houses of God, and anywhere that thousands of people’s prayers over a century or more has to be someplace where we would want to hang out, right? But Jesus is also the Temple, as He makes abundantly clear in His self-descriptions. So we should spend time with Him–which means reading Scripture and praying and yes, taking the Eucharist. And finally, you are all the Body of Christ, and so hanging out with you is part of how I can cozy up to God. Like swallows and sparrows, if I want to be near God, those are some of the ways I can build a nest. So, my fine feathered friends, come and let’s chirp alongside one another, shall we?