No, I’m not referring to those huge lumbering metal orange-crates that take up more room that they should be allowed on our highways. No. Rather, I’m speaking about those smallest of birds, iridescent in the sunshine that frequent our sugar-water feeder each summer.

I have no idea how it got started, but we have been keeping records of our sighting of the first hummer at our feeder each spring. Last Sunday, April 12, 2009, we saw our first this year. They come—according to our records—in April each year. That’s how we know when to hang out the feeder.

The first sighting is always of a male–here in this part of the world we have ruby throated birds—which kmakes them easy to distinguish from a female (the males having all the jazz about them). I think I read somewhere that the males come first, find the best place to stay, and then the females come later to set up housekeeping.

True or false, it always seems that the first birds we see (and that remains true for a few weeks) is a male. But when they all arrive, they come in batches. And then the fun begins! It’s amusing to watch a bird take over the feeder as though it were his own. He sits on bare branches where he can watch it, so that if another hummer comes along to suck up some sweet stuff he can swoop down and drive him away. It is star wars all over again each summer as they go zooming through the air after one another.

Now, the jar and the liquid in it are purely a gift of grace from me. These birds neither earned it nor deserve it. It’s pure grace. Yet they stand watch over it as if they had rights to it! How much this is like many Christians who have all that they have that’s worthwhile by God’s grace, yet act as if what they have is their private possession. They treat one another as if they owned all of God’s blessings. I’m thinking, today, especially of people who try to “take over” churches. Someone said to me just the other day that a woman, in all seriousness, said to her, “I own this church.” Have you any such tendencies? If so, repent—or God’s likely to take away your feeder!

Check out Jay’s “radio” broadcast on our website. Today Jay begins a three part series Handling Anger God’s Way.

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