Domingo, 22 de Janeiro de 2017
   
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A Message to the Bird

Last week, while preaching about the future Millennial Kingdom of Christ, I mentioned the deliverance of creation that now lives subject to vanity, under the bondage of corruption as it cries and suffers in anguish (Rom 8.19-22). I highlighted the fact that such condition is also seen in creation in the “enmity” between different species and even amidst the same species. Such “enmity” also affects us. To illustrate that, I talked about the attacks I suffered from a bird that built his nest in my yard.

At the end of the sermon, many people came to ask me about the terrible bird’s identity. Based on some internet survey, I mentioned some information about the bird during the sermon, however I could not remember its name. Well, the name is chalk-browed mockingbird (mimus saturnius), also known in Brazil as tejo-do-campo, calhandra, arrebita-rabo, galo-do-campo, papa-sebo among other denominations.

As I told the brethren, to take care of its offspring, this bird works in a team of three. The parents couple takes care of the feeding and a third bird acts as guardian and protector, chasing away anyone who approaches the nest. It was with one of these guardians I had serious relationship problems! With the nest right at my front door, every time I showed up outside, there came the guardian who first let out a piercing shriek to warn me of trespassing forbidden area. If I gave one more step, he would fly up to the wall grid leaning ominously with a look that said: “I would think twice before taking another step If I were you”. As I had to get to the gate, I went ahead on tenterhooks. Then the guardian would strike in an angle fly, flapping his wings in my head. The attack was always effective. I’d quickly run to the street. The bird would then land on the wall and fix his eyes on me, in a way that said, “Do not ever come back!”.

For about two weeks I lived this adventure. I thought that maybe, with time, the guardian would get used to me and accept a peaceful interaction. Moreover, if there is any justice in this world, sooner or later that bird would have to recognize that was my place. I had got there first and built my nest long before him and his invasive accomplices. What a wishful thinking of my part… The guardian never let his guard down. He only left because the chicks grew up and went to enjoy life elsewhere.

This way, I exemplified how creation cries and distresses. The guardian was afraid, felt threatened, risked his life facing a much bigger enemy (not that bigger!) and did not rest, day and night, watching the little chicks, always endangered by hawks, snakes, lizards and ministers prowling around.

However, Paul says that one day creation will be freed of it all. In the palingenesia (regeneration), when this worldly kingdom becomes the Lord’s and his Christ (Rev 11:15), when David’s holy descendent occupies his throne (Lk 1:32), when the Lord rules the nations with an iron scepter (Rev 19:15), when authority, glory and sovereign power is given to Jesus so that all nations and people of every language worship him (Dan 7:14), then the creation’s hope will become real and the old prophecy in Isaiah 11:6-9 will be fulfilled.

The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.
The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
The infant will play near the cobra's den, the young child will put its hand into the viper's nest.
They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.

It is in this future, historical, solid and touchable kingdom that we will have endless peace. There our hearts and the bird’s will no longer taste fear for all menace will cease, all enmity will end and the nest of the chalk-browed mockingbird will need guardians no more.

Now a word to the bird of my affliction:

Dear chalk-browed mockingbird,

 

I see you almost don’t sing. You often just yells at me to frighten me away. I also see that I am not a pleasant presence to you (and it is mutual, to be honest). I also notice that you are always tormenting, always on guard, ready to attack whoever approaches. And I confess this attitude bothers me much. I must say, however, we have a lot in common. I also sing little, I am also afraid, I also get rather defensive, wandering in a fallen world that lies in wickedness. Moreover, the earnest expectation you hold – to be freed from the bondage of corruption – I also hold it. You see, we really have much in common! So, try and “take it easy” on me. For my part, I’ll understand and even protect you. How about we take it like that for now? Be patient. In the future kingdom, kept by the Prince of Peace, I know we’ll be good friends. And living there with you will be as a feather in my cap (no irony).

Pr. Marcos Granconato

Strength and faith

Soli Deo Gloria

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