We have lived in our house now 15 years. In the early years we were surrounded by open farmland and wooded hills. Overseeing this kingdom sat an old hawk on a telephone line. When other, smaller birds got too close, the hawk would stare them down and open his wings menacingly. They would move further down the line. One day machines tore down the old farmhouse and collapsed barn and began to excavate the fields. New housing additions, apartment buildings and a full hospital and medical complex rose in their place.
Soon other machines began to cut side roads through the wooded hills. The old hawk moved to the top of a dead tree nearer to our house. Every day more of the wildlife was displaced. It became easy for the hawk to catch the fleeing mice and rabbits. Each day as I headed to the church, I would watch the hawk watch the shrinking fields and severed woods. In the evenings coming home I would see him circling overhead. A few years ago, he moved on. Four or five younger hawks took over circling the area. The dead tree began collapsing, ever shrinking. The hawks began to rest on area roof tops. One day, just before sundown, I went out in the backyard to cover the faucets from the winter freezes. When I looked up, a hawk was looking at me.
He was sitting on our back fence, just a few yards in front of me. I pulled out my phone and he posed for pictures. Even the flash did not faze him. Then he turned suddenly, opened his mighty wings, dropped down and took off with his prize. I mistakenly thought he was watching me. I was just a manageable distraction. Too many distractions and the hawk would come up short. He stayed on mission. It was getting dark quickly. The little creatures now live in suburban backyards and flowerbeds. The majestic hawk has learned to adapt to his changing world.
This has been a hard year with curtailed activities and distractions everywhere, but the church has stayed on mission. Since God’s people are the church, that means that you have stayed on mission—worshiping, praying, serving others in the name of Jesus. Thank you for being the church in this year of pandemic.
Keep healthy. Pray mightily. Enjoy your life today. Keep your eye on the prize. And let’s experience the love and power of God together while still apart.