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Today Daily Devotional

Religion & Spirituality Podcas

Today is a daily devotional that helps God's people refresh, refocus and renew their faith through Bible reading, reflection, and prayer.


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Today is a daily devotional that helps God's people refresh, refocus and renew their faith through Bible reading, reflection, and prayer.






Hidden Treasure

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.” — Matthew 13:44 Come to Chicago’s Roseland neighborhood with me. Drive down Michigan Avenue, past Root Brothers Hardware. “Checks Cashed” blinks in neon from the Currency Exchange, and “$2,300 – LIKE NEW!!” shines from the window of a red Chevy Cavalier. Snow falls on people outside Roseland Christian Ministries (RCM) as they wait for the food pantry to open. Just inside the front door eight men and women are busy stacking cans and boxes of food. As they finish, RCM volunteer Ms. Arlene says, in a Jamaican accent, “OK, let us gather to pray. . . . Holy Spirit, fill us with the love of Jesus. May your gifts be given to your people. Amen.” For the next two hours this group of employees and volunteers serves groceries to people coming in from the local community. The corner of East 109th and Michigan in Chicago is a part of God’s kingdom. Like a farmer who finds treasure in a field and then sells everything he has to purchase that field, I have had the privilege of seeing and working in a sliver of God’s kingdom here on Chicago’s South Side. And as you meet some of the people here, my hope is that you may discover a deeper awareness of Christ’s presence in the communities where you live. Lord, open our eyes to see you and our ears to hear you. May we be surprised by the treasure that is your kingdom in the communities we are a part of. Amen.


Seated with Him on the Throne

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” — Revelation 21:5 Some imagery that appears in the beginning of the Bible is contrasted or expanded upon in the final chapters of God’s grand story of salvation. The unformed abyss in Genesis 1, for example, is contrasted with the stunning architecture of the heavenly city in Revelation 21. The tree of life in the garden of Eden (Genesis 2:9; 3:22-24) is multiplied in Revelation 22 and described as constantly bearing fruit and providing healing for the nations. And the image of the Spirit hovering and brooding over the waters is contrasted with the One who is now seated on the throne. Creation will be complete, fully formed and mature, and we will enjoy glorious, delightful friendship with our loving Creator, who invites us to live with him in the perfect unity of love that has always characterized God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The awe-inspiring creation that we live in today will be the foundation for the new creation, and we can look forward to rejoicing along with birds and all other creatures in the new heaven and earth. Not only is Christ seated in the heavenly realms, but we who love and trust him are also raised up with Christ and are seated with him even now (Ephesians 2:6). This means our lives are firmly grounded and maturing in Christ as we enjoy the intimacy of living in communion with God each day while awaiting his coming again. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, may all honor and glory be yours, now and forever! Amen.


Trusting God’s Plan to Bring Justice

I saw an angel standing in the sun, who cried in a loud voice to all the birds flying in midair, “Come, gather together for the great supper of God. . . .” — Revelation 19:17 My first sighting of the flight of tens of thousands of crows at dusk in East Vancouver was eerie and foreboding. But over the years, I’ve grown used to this cacophonous, raucous parade in the sky that takes place twice a day as these birds travel between the beaches and their rookeries. These midair birds fly higher up than songbirds but closer to the earth than soaring eagles, and they are flourishing in many cities today. They have even been dubbed the “Einstein bird” for the ways they have adjusted their behavior to human patterns. Crows have learned that threats are fewer and food is more plentiful in urban areas, so they live in abundance in protected parks, and they glean from the messes that humans leave behind. The Bible has many references to these prolific birds that God has appointed in his plan to bring justice, and in Revelation 19 they are called to devour evil rulers. Acknowledging these swarms, or murders, of crows is chilling and unpleasant, but we also have the hopeful promise that God will not allow evil to have the final word. There are things that happen in the world that break our hearts; we recognize corruption and evil. But in Christ we are assured that one day things will be made right again. God of justice and righteousness, we trust in your promise to make all things new. Let your kingdom come, and may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


Claiming to Know Christ as Lord

Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” — Matthew 26:75 While it might be easy for us to overlook sparrows and other small birds in our daily meanderings, it can be hard to ignore a rooster if we see or hear one: the gurgling, jarring, sometimes ear-splitting racket is enough to wake anybody up! In our reading for today, the sound of a rooster crowing became a devastating wake-up call for Peter. He had promised to be faithful, but when it came right down to it, he chickened out, and he denied ever knowing Jesus. And, of course, Jesus knew that would happen. It isn’t easy to identify with a suffering Savior. Sometimes today too, the Holy Spirit may use ordinary things in our lives to help us see how we have let Jesus down. It could be on social media, or at work, or when we’re driving that we are suddenly pierced with an awareness of how we haven’t done the right thing, and that we too are capable of denying our relationship with Jesus Christ. Thankfully for us all, God is merciful. In John 21, after Jesus has died and risen again, he lovingly restores Peter, calling him to serve faithfully (John 21:15-19). Through his perfect love, Jesus also reverses our denials by reclaiming us as his own. Lord Jesus, we are sorry for the ways we have denied you in our lives. Forgive us, restore us, and empower us to claim you as our Lord. In your name, Amen.


Looking in the Wrong Places

“Where there is a dead body, there the vultures will gather.” — Luke 17:37 One time while we were on a hike as a family, we sat on a bluff overlooking a valley, and we took out a bundle of sandwiches made with leftover roast turkey. As soon as we started eating, a large vulture came swooping past us. And just as quickly it flew off again, seeing there was nothing dead or decaying for it to eat. Jesus’ comment about vultures in our reading for today has to do with questions about the end times. People often wonder whether disasters in their era are signs that the world is going to end. Today too, with wars, earthquakes, droughts, hurricanes, floods, and fires causing so much devastation and hardship, people question if these events might be the harbinger of Jesus’ return. But when his disciples asked him to explain about his coming again, Jesus gave a cryptic response about dead bodies and vultures! It seems he was simply saying that if you see many vultures gathering in the sky, you can be certain that something is dying. In another passage Jesus adds that only the Father knows exactly when the end will come—“not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. . . . So . . . be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him” (Matthew 24:36, 44). Knowing that Jesus will eventually come again, we can live faithfully as we continually look forward to his return. Lord, help us not to grow weary of waiting but to continually hope in you and to live for you as we long for your coming again. Amen.


Seeking Refuge

“How often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.” — Matthew 23:37 If you have ever watched a hen with her chicks, you might have noticed that the hen will cluck loudly when she senses danger nearby. The chicks hear her warning, and if they know what’s good for them, they run to her for cover. The hen will droop and spread her wings to make room for the chicks, but if they don’t respond to her invitation, they will be exposed to danger. Two things become apparent when this imagery is used to describe God and his people: God’s character is steady and protective, but human responses are sometimes unpredictable and foolish. Refuge is always available, but we need to seek and go to it as well. How many of us suffer because we haven’t run to the Father for cover? What needless pain do we bear because we don’t go to the Lord? If we are scurrying around, trying to fix things and worrying about getting attacked, why are we trying to do this on our own? Our only sure protection in life and in death is God our Savior. Jesus longed to cover God’s people with his protective love, but they wouldn’t listen to his invitation. Even so, on the cross Jesus took the full brunt of the enemy’s attack in order to save us—and through his death and resurrection we can have eternal life! Lord Jesus, thank you for saving us so that we can live with you. Teach us to seek refuge in you and to live faithfully each day. Amen.


Don’t Be Afraid

“Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them.” — Luke 12:24 Today’s reading from Luke is similar to yesterday’s reading from Matthew. Jesus probably taught this lesson often, perhaps even pointing to birds that were nearby at the time. Jesus urges his listeners to recognize what is most important in life. Is it food? Clothing? Having lots of money and possessions? In many parts of the world, the expectation that people will enjoy a life of security, privacy, and comfort is almost assumed. Yet, after times of disaster, when possessions are destroyed, we’ll often hear, “Those were just things that can be replaced if we really need them—we’re just glad to be alive.” Jesus knows that a life attached to material things can lead to anxiety. Things are temporary, and we can’t always control when or how our possessions will be taken from us. So it’s better to attach ourselves to each other and to God. Jesus encourages us to live in such a way that people and their needs have priority over possessions and ownership. So let’s not be controlled by worries about possessions or food or money. Jesus concludes by saying, “Do not be afraid, little flock.” He knows that we’re vulnerable, and he knows what we need. In fact, he promises that God, our Father, will give us the kingdom—much more than we need. Lord Jesus, thank you for your tender care for us, and for guiding us in the way of wisdom. Help us to care more about each other than about our things. Amen.


“Look at the Birds”

“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.” — Matthew 6:26 When Jesus said, “Look at the birds . . .” his listeners could probably watch these creatures as they flew among the plants and trees on the mountainside. If you can, take some time today to look at birds—even if just for a few minutes. Consider that much of what was written in the Bible took place outdoors, under the bright skies where we can see and make connections to the creation God has made. A problem with so many of us today is that we are often disconnected from what God has made; we read the Bible indoors with our heads down, and we try to distill the truth into statements that are general and abstract. Bit by bit, we can grow out of touch and unsure about what it all means. Our family’s children’s Bible illustrates this story with a couple of birds casually pushing a grocery cart loaded with food. Even though some birds such as nuthatches, chickadees, and woodpeckers actually keep food in little caches, the sight of these birds gathering pantry items in a cart is comical. But Jesus’ point is that birds simply do what the moment requires them to do; they don’t agonize about their lives. They simply depend on God’s care—always. Jesus points out that just as God cares for birds, he cares much more for each one of us. And, truly, we can’t add a single moment to our lives by worrying. Best of all, God has given us everything we need in order to have eternal life! Lord, thank you for your faithful love and care for us. In Jesus, Amen.


God’s Spirit Descending Like a Dove

At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. — Matthew 3:16 The fact that the Spirit rested on Jesus “like a dove” at the moment of his baptism is not insignificant. To understand why, we can start by asking where else in the Bible we have come across doves, and what connections we can make between these stories. Remember how Noah sent out a dove from the ark? It first came back with nothing, and then, after going out a second time, it returned with an olive leaf in its beak (Genesis 8:11). The fresh green leaf in the dove’s mouth signified the beginning of a new era, a hopeful turning of events, the renewed presence of peace and shalom, and the imminent promise that no such dramatic devastation would have to happen again. The reference to a dove at Jesus’ baptism is a sign that another new era has begun in Jesus Christ. In Jesus, there is finally a hopeful turning of events: the arrival of a peaceful reign and the promise that Jesus’ coming will be pivotal in history. In this event we see a sign that God is recreating the world in Christ, setting things right, and rebuilding so that his purposes can finally be realized. Lord Jesus, in your baptism we see the sign of God’s new promise and the unfolding of your great plan to restore the whole world to yourself. We marvel at the beauty of how everything holds together in you, and that the Scriptures point faithfully to your perfect plan. In your name we pray. Amen.


Showing Concern for the Earth

“Because of this the land dries up, and all who live in it waste away; the beasts of the field, the birds in the sky and the fish in the sea are swept away.” — Hosea 4:3 Through Hosea, the Lord is bringing serious charges in our reading for today. Dangerous conditions brought about by people who care nothing for God and his creation have led to a loss of “the beasts of the field, the birds in the sky and the fish in the sea.” Sadly, there are chilling parallels in our pollution and degradation of the earth today. Reckless human action has negatively affected many plants and animals, birds and fish, and the environments they need to live in. Many kinds of pollution have harmed people as well. Wars, chemical spills, nuclear fallout, industrial contamination, and more have left devastating effects on the earth and its creatures, including us. While some areas are seeing remarkable restoration and many efforts today are being made to show good stewardship, there are still indications that creation is suffering immensely. Animals, birds, and fish are often pushed aside and destroyed as their habitats are altered according to human preference. While cause and effect in the environment is complex and not always easy to explain, we can still strive to do what we can to preserve and restore God’s good creation. Lord our God, help us to be aware of the consequences of our decisions, and give us the courage to protect and maintain the earth you have entrusted to our care. Amen.


Understanding the Appointed Seasons

Even the stork in the sky knows her appointed seasons, and the dove, the swift and the thrush observe the time of their migration. — Jeremiah 8:7 Sometimes, as much as we want to hold on to the way things are, we must face the reality that change is a part of life. Teenagers are encouraged to “leave the nest,” and “empty nesters” gradually become used to different rhythms in life as their children leave home. Still, even when it’s time for a change, we can tend to resist it. The prophet Jeremiah refers to storks, doves, swifts, and thrushes, contrasting their wise behaviors with the foolishness of people who have turned away from the Lord. Jeremiah laments the thick-skulled attitudes of the people around him, who lack wisdom because “they have rejected the word of the Lord.” The prophet is saying, in effect, “Even the birds know what needs to be done, but these people are so stubborn!” There is a season for everything, and it’s our task to recognize what season it is. The invitation here is to consider what season it is for each of us. Is it time to repent? Is it time to relinquish? Is it time to restore? The apostle Paul encourages the church to “be alert and always keep on praying” for each other as a way of being ready for whatever the Spirit will lead us to do (Ephesians 6:18). Lord, it’s easy for us to become distracted or discouraged, and we need your wisdom to know how we should live. Guide us to be alert, paying attention to the seasons in our lives, and to respond as we ought. Amen.


Like Eagles

“Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles. . . .” — Isaiah 40:31 In many places around the world, birds are a significant part of human culture. Just look at flags, stamps, coins, and bills from a variety of nations, and you’ll see a wide array of winged creatures. Do you know which birds are celebrated where you live? Canada loves the loon because it conveys solitude and peacefulness. China highlights the stork because it symbolizes longevity and wisdom. New Zealand favors the kiwi because of its uniqueness, and India prizes the peacock as a symbol of immortality and resurrection. Ancient Egypt famously profiled the eagle as an emblem of protection and strength, and dozens of countries, including the United States, claim the eagle as their national bird. Eagles are truly majestic creatures that symbolize strength and independence. Catching sight of an eagle as it soars high above the earth can be breathtaking, and watching one swoop and maneuver its immense wings is awe-inspiring. The reference to eagles in Isaiah 40 is a comfort for God’s people in a time of weariness and struggle. Our matchless Creator and Sustainer gives us his strength and glory, filling us with the capacity to do far more than we think is possible. We may feel weak and powerless in our current circumstances, but because of who we are in Christ, we can hold on to the promise that in his strength we will “soar on wings like eagles.” Lord God, renew our strength each day so that we may reflect your glory. Amen.


Love Birds

“See! The winter is past. . . . Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land.” — Song of Songs 2:12 In some parts of the globe, winter brings cooler weather and lots of rain. In other parts, the sunlight hours grow much shorter, the air gets cold, rain turns to snow and ice, and birds fly away till spring comes again. It can feel like a long, dreary season. Even people who like winter weather are eventually glad to see signs of spring, when flowers appear again and lots of birds return from far-off places. Blooming flowers and singing birds can stir up visions of a place and time that is inviting and flourishing. This hopeful picture in the Song of Songs touches on a universal experience: having one’s heart light up with hope, especially in the presence of another person. Even the memory of a significant relationship, or the hope of having one, can spark the important feeling of wanting to love and be loved. And experiencing such love is like the refreshing return of spring after a long winter. We were created for intimacy and closeness with others, and although this is not perfectly realized in this lifetime, the imagery of waiting for winter to be over is a bit like longing for heaven—when we will be lovingly received by our Savior, who takes great delight in us. Meanwhile, whether or not we face a long winter ahead, we look for signs of hope. Lord, we long for the time when all our seasons of bleakness and struggle will be past. Keep hope alive in our hearts till we can rejoice in living with you forever. Amen.


Keeping Good Secrets

A bird in the sky may carry your words, and a bird on the wing may report what you say. — Ecclesiastes 10:20 When we are surprised that someone knows a secret, we might hear them say, “A little birdie told me.” Sometimes that can be a pleasant way to share that we know something special is afoot, but that phrase can also be a way to shift responsibility for a secret that hasn’t been fairly kept. So it is good to observe the caution in this column of wisdom from Ecclesiastes: Don’t share what’s not yours to share. The wise author of this passage knew that talking about things that should be kept discreet can lead to trouble for a person who likes to gossip—and to anxiety for the person whose private information isn’t respected. It can be nerve-wracking to consider how the sharing of private details or secret thoughts might damage one’s reputation or relationships. Instead, it can be far better not to repeat a person’s secrets at all. James 3 notes that the tongue can be like a spark that sets off a forest fire. Even just a little gossip can do a lot of damage. And Jesus taught that everyone will need to give account for every careless word they have spoken (Matthew 12:36). Let’s be careful to speak wisely and faithfully, honoring God and our neighbor in all that we say. “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech” (1 Peter 3:10). Lord Jesus, by the presence of your Holy Spirit, give us wisdom and discretion. Guide us to keep our tongues from causing harm to others and ourselves. Amen.


Appreciating God’s Creation

The birds of the sky nest by the waters; they sing among the branches. — Psalm 104:12 When life feels chaotic and messy, it can be wonderfully therapeutic to look at creation and see how marvelously diverse and joyful God made it to be. There is order and purpose everywhere in God’s good design, and the more we learn about the earth and its creatures, the more we can celebrate how amazing it is. If you’re feeling out of sorts or discouraged, try watching a nature documentary about flamingos or weaver birds, cockatoos or hummingbirds. When you do, consider that Christ was there in the beginning, overseeing everything and taking great delight in the creation of this magnificent planet (Colossians 1:15-20). Spending time in wonder and awe as we consider God’s extraordinary, well-ordered creation can help us appreciate our place in the order of things too. This can also lead us to feeling grounded and secure rather than tossed about by the sometimes merciless systems created by humans. Pondering the marvelous works of God—the mountains; the water cycle; the birds, animals, insects, and sea creatures; and all the forests and plants they depend upon—can also lead us to worship. Recognizing all of this splendor with gratitude to God can deepen our connections both to God and to his world, filling us with the desire to lift up our hearts in praise and adoration. God of wonders, draw our attention to your glorious works so that we might know you better, inviting all peoples to praise and honor you. In Jesus, Amen.


Under His Wings

He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. — Psalm 91:4 Psalm 91 shows that God, “the Almighty,” is not intimidating or frightening. Instead, God is so gentle and concerned for everyone that they can find refuge in him like hatchlings under the care of a hen. As God’s people, we can trust the Lord fully because he will surround us, guard us against dangerous threats, and deliver us. Resting in the shadow of God’s protective wings means that we don’t need to be afraid of chaotic things happening around us. There is a time for us to walk courageously into situations with God’s help, and there is a time to retreat and be still in his caring presence. If you ever have the privilege of watching chicks take cover under a hen’s wings, you’ll see that they stay very still and quiet, completely out of view of danger, while the hen is alert and watchful and will do whatever she can to protect her young. Jesus uses similar imagery when he expresses his desire to gather up the people of Jerusalem and protect them (Luke 13:34). He is gentle and makes space for us near to his heart. Lord, help us constantly to stay close to you so that when danger threatens, we will be safe in your care. Gather us in and hold us close. Amen.


Settling Near God’s Heart

Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young—a place near your altar, Lord Almighty, my King and my God. — Psalm 84:3 Several years ago, a building contractor who was working on a new site next to our church asked if we were aware of the birds that were flying in and out of the attic of our church building. We had to admit that we hadn’t noticed! The songwriter of Psalm 84 saw a bird that had built her nest in the Lord’s temple, and the writer reasoned that this was the best place to make oneself at home. God’s hospitality extends to all that he has made, and for people who love the Lord there is no better place to be. This psalm is a song of deep yearning for spiritual connection with God in a place of worship. The joy of worshiping God gives strength for people who travel. Even when they are far away from God’s house, even in a dry place like the valley of Baka, God’s presence goes with them. Wherever they may go, they can find the sweetness of God’s presence in worship, so they are able to go from strength to strength. Jesus echoed this teaching when he met a woman at a well in Samaria; he taught her that the place of worship is wherever God is. And when she discovered that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God, she went to tell everyone in her town, and they came out to meet with him (John 4)! Better is one day with you, Lord, than a thousand elsewhere. Thank you for welcoming us into your presence wherever we go. Amen.


To Be at Rest

I said, “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest.” — Psalm 55:6 Have you ever had the desire to fly? Do you ever wish you could just leap up and fly away for some peace and quiet? Sometimes in life, the troubles we face can cause deep inner turmoil. We may struggle with our mental health, a physical disability or disease, a relationship that feels stuck, a difficult career, a deep disappointment or loss, a cycle of poverty, or something else. Many different things can make us feel trapped. When David wrote this psalm, he was feeling disillusioned and stuck. He was distraught by the situation he was in, and he felt betrayed by a friend. He desperately wanted a way out and dreamed of being like a dove so he could fly far away from all his troubles. But as he wrestled with his discouragement, he grew to understand that although he did not have wings to fly away, he did have a voice to call upon God. The solution to being released from life’s burdens isn’t to escape but to give them up to the Lord: “Cast your cares on the Lord, and he will sustain you.” Echoing the assurance of this psalm, Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. . . . Learn from me . . . and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:28-29). Lord and God, thank you that even when we are surrounded by troubles that we would rather escape, you give us the wings of prayer and you promise to sustain us. Help us to cast our burdens on you. Amen.


Living as Ones Who are Known

“I know every bird on the mountains. . . .” — Psalm 50:11 One day, as we were hiking a mountain trail, my son and I heard a bird song that was unlike anything we had heard before. We stopped and looked at each other in amazement, listening to the bird repeat its long, intricate song over and over. I know a few birds by their songs, but there are still many that I don’t know yet. Some people, though, can identify hundreds of birds by their sounds. In this psalm God says, “I know every bird on the mountains. . . .” To consider that God knows every bird isn’t just to say that God is the most advanced birder there is. It means that nothing in all of this world escapes God’s attention. There is no creature, animal or human, that is outside of his field of vision, no song he hasn’t heard, no call or cry he doesn’t recognize, no flight pattern or footprint he can’t identify. Not only does nothing escape God’s attention, but nothing can fool him either. The one who knows every bird urges us to be real, not false, in our relationship with him. God calls us to be sincere in worship—not just to pretend or go through the motions. We are to honor God in all we do, fulfilling our vows to the God who keeps his promises. And we know we can “call on [him] in the day of trouble,” for the Lord, who knows all the birds, will always hear our cry and meet our need. Father in heaven, it’s humbling to be reminded that you know us so well. Help us to trust that you always hear us and care for us. Amen.


Marveling at God’s Design

“The wings of the ostrich flap joyfully, though they cannot compare with the wings and feathers of the stork.” — Job 39:13 Some years ago, I took a bus to a small village a few hours outside of Nairobi, Kenya. Partway through the trip, as I was looking out the window, I saw an ostrich running wildly alongside the bus. Its long neck and bulging eyes stuck out in front of its oddly large body, and it flapped its enormous, fluffy wings while its skinny legs pumped furiously, kicking up clouds of dust as it scurried across the savanna. I couldn’t keep from laughing! What a strange and hilarious creature! But as outlandish as ostriches are, they still have their place in creation. Although God didn’t endow them with wisdom or good sense, he did see fit to make it possible for them to outpace horses and riders—and even transit buses on African highways! Perhaps God created such a funny creature for times when things that happen in life are just so strange that we have to shake our heads and say, “You can’t make this stuff up!” Our lives are often so complex in ways that we can’t explain, and sometimes we are left speechless. Still, even strange and inexplicable things have their place in life. And like the wildly joyful ostrich, somehow everything fits together, in God’s wisdom. Lord, thank you for your wonderfully diverse creation. We praise you that there’s a place for everyone in this good creation and that all things hold together in Jesus Christ. In your name we pray. Amen.