From biblical times to today, humans have found meaning and significance in the actions and symbolism of birds. We admire their mystery and manners, their strength and fragility, their beauty and their uglinessand perhaps compare these very characteristics to their own lives in the process. Though admired today, the birds of Scripture are largely unseen and underappreciated. From the well-known image of the dove to the birds that gorge on the flesh of the defeated "beast" in Revelation, birds play a dynamic part in Scripture. They bring bread to the prophets. They are food for the wanderers. As sacrifices, they are the currency of mercy. Highlighting 10 birds throughout Scripture, author Debbie Blue explores their significance in both familiar and unfamiliar biblical stories and illustrates how and why they have represented humanity across culture, Christian tradition, art, and contemporary psyche. With these (usually) minor characters at the forefront of human imaginations, poignant life lessons illuminate such qualities as desire and gratitude, power and vulnerability, insignificance and importanceeven as readers gain a better understanding that Gods mysterious grace is sometimes most evident in His simplest of creatures.
Debbie Blue (MA, Yale Divinity School) is one of the founding pastors of House of Mercy, a church in St. Paul, Minnesota, that was once named the Best Church for Non-Church Goers. The church is regularly featured on Minnesota Public Radio and is known nation-wide as one of the first and most enduring emergent congregations. Rev. Blue's sermon podcasts are listened to by subscribers around the world, and her essays, sermons, and reflections on the scripture have appeared in a wide variety of publications including Life in Body, Proclaiming the Scandal of the Cross, Geez, The Image Journal, and The Christian Century, where she also frequents as a guest blogger.