The black-necked stilt is a sharp dressed bird, wearing black and white with a red color accent like a businessman’s power tie. The flock will use that power when they respond to predators. While most water birds will flee from threats, these birds, these birds will work together both to spot and drive away dangers. These displays can be remarkably aggressive, including surrounding the predator with birds that are jumping up and down and flapping their wings at it.
A behavior like this would be unwise when the bird is alone, but it is effective in groups. If a solitary bird ran up to a coyote jumping up and down like this the message received would likely be more “pick me!” than “go away!” But when it is done in the group it is a successful deterrent and means of dealing with danger.
There is likely to be a lesson there for the church. How good is your church at pointing out and dealing with the dangers of sin? Sometimes the church will shy away from this activity because in today’s world people can think we look silly. A little bit like the group of birds gathered around a threat and raising a ruckus. This type of warning people against sin is perceived as old fashioned, and described as the church acting like chicken little claiming the sky is falling.
But when the church doesn’t point out the dangers of sin, they are instead leaving it up to the individual Christian to handle sin on their own. This is likely to turn out a bit more like the lone stilt displaying for a coyote. We need the support of the group in order to strive toward righteousness. We need the help of the congregation to defeat sin and the intentional enemy behind all sin.
1 Peter 5:8 (HCSB) “Be serious! Be alert! Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour”