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Oh, Pinions

February 27, 2021

“As an eagle stirs up its nest, and hovers over its young; as it spreads its wings, takes them up, and bears them aloft on its pinions; the Lord alone guided him; no foreign god was with him.” Deuteronomy 32:11-12

Today’s Old Testament passage from the Daily Texts is for the birds. Well, actually it’s from the birds. Near the end of Deuteronomy, the people are almost in the Promised Land. The history of their deliverance from Egypt and their wanderings in the wilderness is recounted. As is often the case in scripture, natural images are utilized to show us something true about the divine.

God is depicted as an eagle that cares for its young, that has such love for its children that it carries them on its pinions. The pinion is the outer part of a bird’s wing, where the flight feathers are. Interestingly (especially as I’ve been reading about biblical inerrancy for class), eagle’s don’t actually carry their young on their pinions. Sure, there are some anecdotes to this effect, but for the most part little eagles just hang out in the nest until they’re ready to fly. And then they fly.

This, folks, is why I love the Bible. It’s not a science book. Today’s passage isn’t powerful because of what eagles do (or don’t do). It’s powerful because the language itself soars. God bears us up.

The image is powerful because I can see myself both as an eaglet carried along by God’s grace alone and as a papa eagle carrying my young. Of course, they’re too big for me to actually carry these days, but I hope I’m still a safe landing spot for them. Today, the boys and I dusted off our baseball games and played catch for an hour. The season is right around the corner! Greta, meanwhile, was sewing. Today she turned an old button-down of mine into a skirt. Amazing! I’m not sure how much I’m holding up the kids these days compared to how much they inspire and hold me aloft.

So, fellow eaglets, may the God whose love bears all things hold you aloft today.

Be well, friends. You are love.

God, your Word bears us aloft when we would otherwise fall. Comfort and carry us, Lord, through the currents of this world. Help us to care for the young ones who are in our charge. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Image: Two eaglets.

From → COVID-19

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