Grandpa was not a man of very many words. His vocabulary was not strong as he never went to school. He could not read or write, but one day, I noticed a sign over the side of the barn where Grandma kept her laying hens. The sign said “Nidification”. The sign was tattered and worn. You could tell it was older than the barn.
Being at a lost as to the meaning of the word and wondering why Grandpa would put up a sign like this was puzzling, so I asked him.
He said, “Years ago I was a deck hand in the Merchant Marines. We went to Italy to unload some cargo. While at the dock, I found an old man making bird houses. I asked him how much for one. He looked puzzled at me as he could speak no English. Worse, I could not speak Latin or any other foreign language. I only spoke good old southern country redneck slang. I pointed at the bird house and he pointed at a sign that said Nidification. Soon, together we understood that I wanted to buy a bird house. So, with a big smile he said, “Nidification”. I nodded yes. He was a kind man. After I paid him for the bird house, he gave me his bird house selling sign, too. A ship mate told me later that this was Latin in origin and means "to build a nest." He said now Nidicolous is used to mean "living in a nest."
Grandpa told me, "You know a nest is a place of rest, retreat, or lodging. In other words a home, a place of refuge.Nests are built using several different types of materials. They are placed in various places to provide shelter, safety, warmth and protection. Many animals seek natural cavities in the ground or in trees to build their nests. Each nest is a labor of love and commitment. So are the nests your Grandma laying hens are in. She took real care in making them just right for her chickens. So I hung my bird building sign so the chickens would know where their nests were. I figured it was the right thing to do as most of those chickens were not local hens, but so foreign that came from nearly twenty miles away. You could tell, they cackled differently."
Grandpa said, "You know one day after sitting under my favorite shade tree, I thought we humans also build a nest, but we call it a house. Like all animals that build a nest, we gather our favorite things around us to create a safe dwelling place providing us warmth, comfort, security, beauty, and peace. Each of our homes is unique to us. They reflect our personality, our passions, interests, and family life. We build our nest to make it our home. While your Grandma and my house was not filled with lots of material things, it was filled with love and laughter with all seven kids.
Grandpa said after a while while looking at the new church in his old cornfield, "I realized that it too was a sort of a nest. Today's church house is like a nest. A place of rest, retreat and refuge from the World. They are built by different denominations united in the adherence of their beliefs and practices. They offer a place for believers to praise, give thanks, worship, sing, reflect and rest with the Creator. Although they may differ in doctrine, all churches are held together not by brick and mortar but by a body of writings considered sacred. The Scriptures."
2 Timothy 3:16 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”
Grandpa said there is the mystery of the church as a nest. ”It is not a building. It’s a people, with or without a building. A nest united with a labor of brotherly love and commitment. It has a builder, and the builder is the Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus builds the church. The place where love, grace and mercy dwells. When we belong to Christ, we nest and dwell."
Psalm 18:4 One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple.
The nest or church is a place of peace and brotherly love. It is built upon the confession of Jesus as God’s Son and Christ. The church is engaged in persuading unbelievers to become disciples of Jesus which the Great Commission defines as baptizing them and teaching them to obey Christ.
John 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
Psalm 91:2 I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust
We all are welcomed to enter the refuge, a sinner. With the stirring of our hearts and upon our confession and belief of Jesus as God's son and Christ, we are filled and saved with peace, joy, love and forgiveness. The church is successful in Nidification. Its nest grows when people show love one to another. Its members like my chickens have a safe place to roost.
Psalm 84-3 Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O LORD of hosts, my King, and my God. 4 Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee.
Find a church, nest and build on its foundation. Share love to cushion the hardships of others. Be blessed and praise the Lord.