The Word on the Week


Our friends the swallows arrived on the farm this week. At least six of them constituting the advance guard. They remember where their old nests were located and will set about repairing them. With all the rain we have had, finding mud for the repairs will not be a problem!

These swallows have come from sunny Africa where they spent the winter enjoying the warmth. This in turn produces an abundance of insects, their food supply, which they catch in flight. Their mouths are wide enabling them to pick their food out of the air. Their wings are narrow and pointed giving great manoeuvrability. On a warm summer’s evening, when there has been a large hatch of insects, a flock of birds can produce an amazing aerial display.

Right now the food supply here is scarce. I expect it may be a week or two before it gets warmer and more swallows join the six that are here. When they arrive they congregate on the electricity wires which cross the fields. Their short legs make them ungainly on the road so they prefer perching at rooftop level.
All over the farm the wild primroses are growing in larger numbers than usual. Their yellow colour lends a freshness to spring and adds to the daffodils brightening up the farm road. The grass too is growing after a slow start but the softness of the land due to the large amount of rain means that we have still around half the herd of cattle in the sheds.
The lambs are stronger now and enjoying the fresh grass to augment their mother’s milk. The new born calves are perhaps less adventuresome keeping closer to their mothers.
So the recurring cycles of nature synchronise programmed by the Creator, each at the right time and in the way that its Maker intended.

Isaiah, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, wrote to comfort God’s people as they returned from exile and incredibly encapsulated in one verse the thoughts that God is the Creator with a filial relationship to his people whom he has redeemed!
“Your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is his name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth he is called.” Chapter 54 verse 5.

We are more familiar with St Paul’s development of this thought in the Ephesian letter as it is often referred to at weddings (Chapter 5 verses 22-33). There he states that the marriage relationship between a husband and a wife portrays Christ’s relationship to the people of God now called the Church. The picture of redemption also comes more sharply into focus, post cross and resurrection because it was at the cross that Christ accomplished redemption. The price was paid in Christ’s lifeblood.
Writing to the church at Colossae, and using language more familiar to Old Testament Jews, St Paul extends the promised inheritance to his Gentile readers “Giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Chapter 1 verses 12-13).

The God who guides and provides for the swallow will provide and guide his trusting people until they have accomplished all that he wants them to do for him on earth.