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Monday, December 19, 2016

12182016 - Fourth Sunday in Advent - "4 Calling Birds"

December 18, 2016
4 Calling Birds
As a child growing up, our dining room was not a ‘formal’ room only used for special occasions.  This was our daily gathering place when the weather was to cold to eat on our enclosed porch.  In one of the drawers that held the special silverware used only for Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas or a special occasion was a special piece of wood.  As a young child we were not allowed to play with it, because like most toys it would probably have been busted.  Yet, as a teenager, I finally found out what it actually was.
Simply it was a bird call.  Not like the one’s from Duck Dynasty fame, but an antique bird call that my Dad had used when he went hunting when he grew up in Iowa.  That little device had the power to call those birds in and subsequently would provide my Dad’s family with a life sustaining meal.
This morning, seven days before we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, we are on the home stretch with our delving into the 12 Days of Christmas.  Today we learn about the 4 Calling Birds”.  These birds are not like the ‘hunted ones’ used with the ‘bird call’, but refer simply to the first 4 books of the Bible in the New Testament that specifically tell about Jesus, the Gospels.  The Evangelists or “4 Calling Birds” weave the story of salvation by divine inspiration giving their individual viewpoints of Jesus life and His ministry of proclamation, but especially healing.  These “4 Calling Birds” wrote a melodious story like an intricately woven tapestry that tells about the life, death and especially the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Just as each ‘bird call’ is unique to the bird it is imitating, the “4 Calling Birds” of the Gospels reveal for all of mankind the true story about our Savior Jesus Christ.  For the “4 Calling Birds” have a two-fold purpose with their calling in their writing.  First, the “4 Calling Birds” want to tell about Jesus.  Like birds on a wire, the evangelists tell the story of Jesus Christ from His birth all the way to His resurrection and ascension into Heaven.  Their accounts, though seemingly different, each tell the story of Jesus with different and unique depths and hues that provide a vibrant illustration of what Jesus Christ did, how He ministered and especially how He loved the people He personally encountered as divinely inspired and recorded by the “4 Calling Birds”.
Second, the “4 Calling Birds” are God’s chosen instrument.  The “4 Calling Birds” are the perfect vehicle to help spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  These “4 Calling Birds” each uniquely gifted by the Holy Spirit, recorded the personal encounters of the people with the Savior and how Jesus Christ individually ministered unto their every need.  Yet each Gospel account also calls out to we the people who gather here today to share what the “4 Calling Birds” share with us today.
For the “4 Calling Birds” mission was to by divine inspiration provide us with the tools we need to tell others about Jesus Christ.  Since we are all unique some of the “4 Calling Birds” draw us into their narrative and inspire us to share the main message.  You see the main message of the “4 Calling Birds” is of salvation and that Jesus Christ came in order to offer us eternal life.  Those who hear that message and believe Jesus own words and His action on the Cross do this as a result of the work of the Holy Spirit and the “4 Calling Birds”.

We who gather here today are the fruit of the Holy Spirit and the work of the “4 Calling Birds”.  Yet, we can ask ourselves, what will we do with this message we have received?  This is where the 12 Days of Christmas Song has greater potential and application.  We can be inspired by these “4 Calling Birds” to tell others what Jesus Christ has done.  We can use the unique voice each of us has been given, like the duck call I found when I was a child and spread the message of the Gospel by pointing them to what the individual and unique voices of the “4 Calling Birds” say about Jesus.  We who gather here today can invite our neighbors, friends, family and other people to encounter Jesus Christ through this simple song of the 12 Days of Christmas.  We who gather today can impact another generation with the message of Jesus Christ like has been done for us by the “4 Calling Birds”.  AMEN.
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