A Gathering Place
By Lois Parker Edstrom
Pictures of swallows
Every year, for over two hundred years, swallows return to an old mission in California. It is an amazing sight to see swirls of these small, fast flying birds return to California from Argentina, six thousand miles to the south, where they have spent the winter.
The swallows fly in great numbers and arrive, each year, around March 19th to build nests in the Mission San Juan Capistrano. At the same time the townspeople of Capistrano and visitors gather to celebrate the return of the swallows. It is called the Festival of the Swallows and there is even a parade to honor these birds!
Other types of birds, animals, and even fish gather together for various reasons. Salmon return in large numbers to the place they were hatched. Certain birds and animals gather and travel together to find a warmer climate or to find a good supply of food or water. Others gather together for safety or to help each other to stay warm.
People gather together too. We gather at family reunions to honor families and for holidays such as Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving Day. We gather together to hear concerts and to see sports events.
An important gathering place is the church where we meet to worship and honor God. Jesus, when he was speaking to his disciples, said, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in their midst” (18:20).
These words are a reminder to us of the importance of gathering with our church community. When we meet with others who seek God’s love we gain strength and are nourished by that love. Jesus says, when you gather in my name I am there.
Scripture quotations from the World English Bible
Copyright 2008, Richard Niell Donovan