RECAP–I KNOW HE WATCHES ME based on Matthew 6:25-34 and 10:29-31
#11 Hymn–HIS EYE IS ON THE SPARROW
Context for the Hymn (courtesy of umcdiscipleship.org)
Origin: Civilla Durfee Martin (1866-1948) was born in Nova Scotia and died in Atlanta, Ga. In “His eye is on the sparrow” (1905), she has provided one of the most influential and often-recorded gospel hymns of the 20th century.
Civilla Martin describes the context out of which the hymn was born: “Early in the spring of 1905, my husband and I were sojourning in Elmira, New York. We contracted a deep friendship for a couple by the name of Mr. and Mrs. Doolittle—true saints of God. Mrs. Doolittle had been bedridden for nigh twenty years. Her husband was an incurable cripple who had to propel himself to and from his business in a wheelchair. Despite their afflictions, they lived happy Christian lives, bringing inspiration and comfort to all who knew them. One day while we were visiting with the Doolittles, my husband commented on their bright hopefulness and asked them for the secret of it. Mrs. Doolittle’s response was simple: ‘His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.’ The beauty of this simple expression of boundless faith gripped the hearts and fired the imagination of Dr. Martin and me. The hymn ‘His Eye Is on the Sparrow’ was the outcome of that experience.”
The next day she mailed the poem to Charles Gabriel, a famous composer of gospel songs, who wrote a tune for it.
Hymns speak deeply to us. Music has the power to connect us to events in our lives, our memories. As soon as a hymn begins, we are transported to an earlier time when we heard or sang that hymn, a time that has deep meaning in our lives. Every time I hear the hymn, “Holy! Holy! Holy!”, I am transported back to the Brownsville Revival movement in Pensecola, Florida, worshipping alongside of nearly 1500 people, filled with the presence of God.
The hymn His Eye is on the Sparrow was birthed not only from Scripture, but also from lived experiences. The Doolittle family had every reason to be bitter; he was wheelchair-bound, and she was bedridden for over twenty years! They had every reason to believe God had given up on them; yet they clung to the hope that Jesus brought. For if His eye is on the sparrow, He certainly is watching over us! What truth did the Doolittles know from the Scriptures? And what can we cling to today?
1) God values you. A sparrow was considered of very low value. Most Jews were poor, and could not afford a regular diet of meat unless they traded with families around them. But you could always buy two sparrows for a penny (half-drachma coin) for your pie! But as much as these birds are considered of no value, God loves them and cares for them!
We are valued in God’s eyes. When he created humanity, he called it “very good.” He values you so much, that he gave his very life so we can find forgiveness, healing, and reconciliation. No one else in this world will love us as much as God loves you!
2) God will take care of you. These birds do not have the intelligence to get what they need to survive on their own, yet God takes care of them. Even more so, God takes care of us. He has us in his hand and will guide our path into a path of wholeness.
3) God knows what you need. He knows what we truly need. We think we know what we need, but God sees the bigger picture and knows what you truly need. And he will work out the details so we get what we need.
4) Our life is in God’s hands. No matter what adversity comes, or when our world is spinning out of control, God is there as our shelter, our peace, our comfort, and our strength. Whatever we might face is not greater than God!
So how should we respond and live, like the Doolittles did, in light of how God views us?
1) Stop worrying! Worry will only draw us deeper and deeper into despair. To worry is to think excessively or plan excessively to a point of anxiety to where we take matters into our own hands. But God is working on our behalf, for our best. Draw closer to him, and rest in his care.
2) Stop striving to fill our own needs our own way. The world tries to fill the need in its own way, and by every way without submitting to Christ. Don’t compromise trust in Jesus by turning to the world for answers! Instead, Jesus knows best; allow his solution to come in his time.
3) Seek first the kingdom. There is no greater aim than knowing Jesus; don’t sacrifice the eternal for the temporary!
4) Dispel fear. Fear will try to control you and rob peace. But with Jesus in our corner, we have nothing to fear, no matter how difficult the circumstance.
We might have difficulties and challenges. We do face illness, pain, and loss. But we are still in the loving arms and care of Jesus, who will not let us go. If his eye is on the sparrow, He is certainly watching over us. How will we respond?
Questions for reflection
1)What is a time in your life you have seen the loving care of Jesus?
2) What would you identify currently as your greatest need?
3) Why is it hard to hear we are valued by God?
4) What do we need to surrender into the hands of Jesus?
This Sunday Pastor Ryan continues the Favorite Hymn Series with our #10 hymn. The sermon will be titled, “Jesus Our Friend,” based on John 15:1-17. How does Jesus show he is our greatest friend? And what is our #10 hymn? Come or tune in Sunday to find out.
Daily Bible Readings for April 13 – 19
April 13: Exodus 1:15-21 How did God show he cared for the Hebrew midwives?
April 14: Exodus 3:1-10 How did God show he cared for Israel in captivity?
April 15: Judges 6:1-16 How did God show Israel he cared for them?
April 16: 1 Kings 17:7-24 How did God show he cared for a widow?
April 17: Isaiah 38 How did God show he cared for Hezekiah?
April 18: Genesis 18:16-33 How do we know God considered Abraham a friend?
April 19: Genesis 5:21-24 How do we know God considered Enoch a friend?
This Week’s Events:
Saturday, April 17–Funeral for Golden Brunk, 11 AM
Saturday, April 24–Virtual Spring Festival for Brethren Woods
Saturday, May 1–SNL event @ Brethren Woods from 2 PM – 5 PM
Saturday, May 8–National Day of Prayer event @ 6:30 PM
Friday, May 21 & Saturday, May 22–Disaster Auction
Call for Worship Leaders and Children’s Story
As we look at the ability to reopen in the coming weeks, we are in need of both worship leaders and children’s story. We are looking for one person each week, rather than a month at a time. If you would like to serve, contact Alice Over (worship leading) or Tammy Stine (children’s story).
Call to Prayer–National Day of Prayer Service
Let us continue to pray for our nation in the following ways:
1) National return to God
2) Repentance of personal sin
3) Repentance of corporate sin
4) Healing for the brokenness of relationships
5) Our leaders
6) Restoration of the national church
We will have a National Day of Prayer Service on Saturday, May 8 @ 6:30 pm. If you would like to assist by leading a station of prayer, please let Pastor Ryan know. We would love to have six volunteers willing to lead a prayer station.
Misti Wheelbarger is looking for volunteers for the nursery during the Sunday School hour for next year. If you are willing to help, even if it is just for a Sunday, please reach out to her and let her know.
Outreach for the Remote Area Medical Clinic
Thank you to all who gave. I received an email from Pat Lawhorn, the area church representative for the RAM Clinic: Over the course of two days, they serviced 443 patients!
Four Ways to Give!
1) Mail your tithe into the church office
2) Drop it by the church office on Tuesday, Thursday or Friday, 9 am – 1 pm
3) Our online giving platform: https://beavercreekchurchva.churchcenter.com/giving
4) Drop off in the offering plate at the main entrance as you enter for church
Continue to Keep in Prayer our members in Skilled Care Facilities: Mary G Miller, Shirley Miller, Stanley Suter & Carolyn Wine
John Bennington (health)
Brunk Family (passing of Golden)
Sam Carr (health)
Elijah Tucker Dean (health)
John Fix (hospitalized)
Janet Good (health)
Cindy Heatwole (health)
Shannon Hollen (health)
Shirley Holland (health)
Heath Kimmell (health)
Larry LaPrade (COVID)
Lent family (work)
Ella Makely (health)
Alda Miller (health)
Diane Miller (health)
Mark Milstead (health)
Tami Plaugher (health)
Evy Kaye Sandin (health)
Chris Shirk (health)
Ann Simmons (health)
Crystal Smith (health)
Charles Wright (health)
Owen Wright (health)
Pastor Ryan Cooper
Beaver Creek COB