24 March: David King

If you come across a bird's nest in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs and the mother sitting on the young or on the eggs, you shall not take the mother with the young.

Deuteronomy 22:6


A reflection from David King – St John the Baptist, Hartford


This seems to be an instruction not to take everything now and leave nothing for the future.  It is an instruction we have difficulty in following in our management of the planet, but does it have more to say to us?

We all love to attract birds whether it's with children at a pond or by setting up feeding stations in our gardens and we delight to see a new variety especially if it's colourful. I like to use up scraps of wood to build bird boxes for smaller birds and by changing the design attract different ones.  Finding ways to help the natural world thrive is really important. We now have some nesting boxes in our church tower to attract swifts and other boxes in our churchyard.  Sadly, occasionally, they can be attacked by cats, squirrels and larger birds and it is upsetting when they don't survive to leave the nest.  The dedication of the parent birds is very impressive and even if disturbed or only one parent survives, they will still go about feeding their young.

The psalmist talks of God having us under His protective wing; Jesus, as he laments over Jerusalem, likens himself to a mother hen wanting to gather her chicks, in order to protect them.  Birds in general and sparrows in particular, are used to illustrate God's ongoing care.  We too are called to protect that which is vulnerable especially if it reflects God's love and care for us.

A prayer

Heavenly Father,

We thank you for the wide-ranging wonder of creation.  Help us celebrate Your wonderful generosity and artistry in all that surrounds us each day. As we enjoy Your care and protection, may we also be caring and protective of all Your gifts to us. 


David King

St John the Baptist, Hartford



Information Point

The John Ray Initiative is an educational charity formed to respond to the global environment crisis and the challenges of sustainable development and environmental stewardship.  Their work aims to bring together scientific, technological and Christian understanding of the environment in a way to lead to effective action.  Click on the link to learn more.

The John Ray Initiative – connecting Environment, Science and Christianity (jri.org.uk)


Page last updated: 15th February 2021 8:01 AM