Thursday, May 23, 2019

Learning Goodness with special guest The Golden Swamp Warbler

Today's fruit of the Spirit is goodness. Ivy and Dovie are the stars of this 9 day series of blog posts focused on the fruit of the Spirit, but, at Dovie’s request today’s post features a special guest, The Golden Swamp Warbler (aka the Prothonotary Warbler). The golden swamp warbler resides in wooded swamps containing an understory of smaller trees (like alder). Due to its shaded habitat coupled with it’s bright yellow coloration this warbler GLOWS in the forest understory as it sings perched on low hanging branches and forages for insects close to the water’s surface.

I was overjoyed to get to experience the goodness, beauty, and unique qualities of this rare species of warbler for the first time in my life this morning. I’m also thankful that this experience was shared with my friend Ken, and that I had the privilege of meeting a very friendly fellow birder by the name of Sue.

What does the golden swamp warbler have to do with goodness you might ask? As I gazed upon this beautiful creature in the wild space just north of the Finger Lakes in North-Central New York, I reflected on the story of how, in Genesis chapter 1, it says that God looked upon all that God had made and saw that it was very good!

There is an intrinsic goodness to all things because that is just how the Spirit of God works. Furthermore, in his life and ministry Jesus responds to human sin (failure to love) and brokenness with grace (the undeserved loving-kindness of God), and in so doing Jesus honors the intrinsic goodness of things created by the Spirit of God (that’s everything, including people!)

As we seek to welcome into our lives more of the fruit of the Spirit called goodness, what might it look like for each of us to follow the example of Jesus by relating to each other and all that has life in ways that honor the basic truth of the goodness of all things.

Let us pray that God who is the source of all good things would nurture this awareness of the goodness of all things in us; you, me, the golden swamp warbler, and everything else that has life.

The story goes that God looked upon all that God had made and saw that it was very good. Let us honor this truth as we open our hearts, welcoming the change that God desires to bring about within us.

Change the desires of my heart, loving God, so that it beats in tune with yours; and may the change you’re bringing about within me find expression in my living.







(The forested swampy habitat of the golden swamp warbler)

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