“ Even the sparrow has found a home,and the swallow a nest for herself,where she may have her young –a place near your altar,Lord Almighty, my King and my God, Blessed are those who dwell in your house;they are ever praising you. “ [Psalm 84 v3-4]
This week I was in my happiest place, in the middle of the Angus Hills, sitting out on the lovely decking of a Farmhouse Café on a fine sunny afternoon. It does not get better than that for me. Or so I thought until we were joined by a Robin hopping about looking for crumbs. It made my day because I love birds, especially Garden Birds. Their inquisitive nature and the way they are ever seeking, the antics they get up to when they meet one another are all worthy of a TV Soap Opera.
The Robin has such a close affiliation with Christmas partly because the Robin is one of the few birds we see at that time of the year as it stays in Britain. Partly because of the legends which have grown up around it. Firstly, when the Jesus was placed in the manger the place was bleak and cold. Mary and Joseph tried to start a fire to keep warm but it spluttered and threatened to go out. The Robin hovered close by and fanned the flames until the fire got going. Hence the red breast from the nearness to the fire.
The one I like best is that the Robin was originally brown and was present at the crucifixion of Jesus. When he saw Jesus on the cross with the Crown of Thorns the Robin took pity and removed the thorns and as he did so a splash of blood landed on his chest. The red blood stayed on as a gift from God to remind all of his compassion and effort.
These are legends and are charming stories to be told at Christmas or Easter time, but, for me the Robin is simply one of God’s creatures who personify perfection. The bird is beautiful, and the song of a Robin is exquisite and beautiful to listen to. Thanks be to God for His wonderful act of Creation.
Talking about birds I was reminded of a time when I was conducting services in Kirkmichael Church which is in the Perthshire Hills and could be found on the road to Moulin Moor from Bridge of Cally. It was a perfect setting, a wee church at the edge of the village. It had big ambitions though and had refurbished the Oast House or meeting place into a “Computer Centre” for use by the community as well as Church Groups. Despite being an older congregation they reached out to young families and were successful in that through their technology and openness to ideas.
The bit I loved when taking the services though was standing at the door before the service, listening to the organ being played in the background, with the gurgling stream nearby and watching the Swallows flitting back and forth to their nests in the eaves of the church. It encapsulated all of the wonders of God’s Love and His Creation. The church a sanctuary for not all who worshipped together, all ages and from all different areas but was also a sanctuary for the birds. I felt that we were so blessed to have these different elements coming together. May you be blessed this week as you go out into the world with your eyes open to the wonder of creation and the Love of God seen in the most ordinary of things, even the birds around us.
LET US PRAY
We thank you for Your exceptional care for us and for all the different ways you have helped us and supported us throughout the past.
We thank you for the wonder of Creation and from the lessons we can draw from the birds around us. Their carefree ways, where they do not worry. Teach us not to worry so much but to rest our cares on You. We thank You for Jesus and His Teaching of the good news of Your Love for us.
We thank You for the images from the Psalms written of old, which speak to us today. They refresh the soul and lift the spirit within us and even through the ages they have stood the test of time in their imagery, comfort, and honesty.
We ask this in Jesus Name,
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