Mark 7:27-28 for the Birds

First let the birds eat Mark updated

This is another attempt to update a saying of Jesus into imagery that might make more sense to people today. After all, the dogs in most homes of Bible readers do not settle for crumbs. Some have their own dishes, and some eat from the plates of the “masters.”

And so I thought that at the very least avid birders would relate more to this imagery I’ve used here. Squirrels are living things, worthy of as much respect as birds are. And yet the birder will instinctively chase them away. And so there is in fact a natural connection between the point Jesus was making and the imagery here – it is not merely substitution for the sake of amusement!

For actual advice on keeping squirrels away from your feeder, see my popular post about perhaps the best – but certainly the cheapest effective – squirrel baffle that you’ll ever find. Do also see the follow-up post about why it worked so well for so long. I recently attached a slinky to the pole that supports my feeder, and hope to actually see some of the hilarity that others have witnessed who have done this.

Finally, longtime readers with good memories may recall that I proposed a rendering like the one I explore here a couple of years ago – albeit without turning it into a meme.

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  • Nick G

    With my birdfeeder, it’s pigeons, jackdaws and occasionally magpies. For some reason, the area where I live has no squirrels, although they* are plentiful in a park a kilometer away. The jackdaws can just about perch on the birdfeeder’s ledge, but they certainly spill more than they eat in that way. They usually arrive in a group, one perches and makes the birdfeeder sway, the rest pick up seed from the ground. Whether this is deliberate cooperation, I don’t know, but jackdaws are both highly intelligent, and very social, so it may be.

    *Grey squirrels; none of the native reds have survived anywhere near :-(.

  • Gary

    “Squirrels are living things, worthy of as much respect as birds are. And yet the birder will instinctively chase them away.”

    Have to separate the sheep from the goats. Peanut butter works well. I certainly wouldn’t want to send them into the burning lake of fire.

  • kzarley

    I thought you meant by, “is for the birds,” that you were deleting Jesus’ saying from scripture. Since “dogs” referred to Gentiles, doesn’t substituting birds and squirrels lose its meaning?

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      Dogs does not have that connotation for most modern readers, which was the point of my blog post. They are, in some cases, considered full members of the family.