A place to nest
Listen to this daily worship
Psalm 84 (NRSVA)
1 How lovely is your dwelling place,
O Lord of hosts!
2 My soul longs, indeed it faints
for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh sing for joy
to the living God.
3 Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may lay her young,
at your altars, O Lord of hosts,
my King and my God.
4 Happy are those who live in your house,
ever singing your praise.Selah
5 Happy are those whose strength is in you,
in whose heart are the highways to Zion.
6 As they go through the valley of Baca
they make it a place of springs;
the early rain also covers it with pools.
7 They go from strength to strength;
the God of gods will be seen in Zion.
8 O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer;
give ear, O God of Jacob!Selah
9 Behold our shield, O God;
look on the face of your anointed.
10 For a day in your courts is better
than a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than live in the tents of wickedness.
11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
he bestows favour and honour.
No good thing does the Lord withhold
from those who walk uprightly.
12 O Lord of hosts,
happy is everyone who trusts in you.
Here we are. The first Sunday of Lent, the annual six week sequence of contemplation before Easter Sunday: The Third Day of Christ’s resurrection. Jesus’s eternal gesture of love on the cross. The poetry of God becoming human and willing to go to the depths for us. Jesus — the Word at the heart of the universe — truly knows us and wants the best for us. He identifies with us, feels our reality, and loves us through it.
And so our Lent begins this year with Psalm 84, ancient words that came long before that Third Day, but contain within them glimmers of its promise.
And tentatively perched there, in verse three, are a sparrow and a swallow. In God’s dwelling place these slight creatures have found a home, a place to make a nest. A wee cosy place to roost tucked into the roof under a quiet night sky.
And so we begin Lent thinking about nests. A nest is a place of security and comfort, a home but one that’s not necessarily fixed permanently in the same spot. Birds often remake their nests from season to season, perhaps returning to the same location but rebuilding anew. Each year they consciously make a home again, not to hide away from the world, but rather to find a place in it. A platform to launch from out into the wider world and then to return to.
You could say that the Third Day of Jesus Christ returning to us is such a place as this. A place that we can continually return to. Year by year we can gather the branches and the leaves and find a new way to make a home there. A new shelter as we rediscover Easter again season by season.
God’s place is somewhere we can find our place, where we can nest, recover our passion, and then take to the air once more. This Lent, let’s take time to coorie down in the warmth of God’s grace.
in the eaves
of your love.
LENT FOCUS 1: PLACE
We begin by focusing on ‘place’ — one of the themes in the first week of our Daily Worship. Pray this week for people who feel they don’t have a place, that they might start to feel they belong. Pray for places that need restoration and repair. Pray that we take good care of the places entrusted to us.