It started off as a normal morning. It was a murky day outside. I was busy preening on a perch next to the kitchen window, and my owner was sitting at the table right next to me, eating his breakfast and listening to the radio.
When, suddenly, I let out a loud shriek of panic and fell to the ground. My owner was a bit slow to react, thinking that I’d simply slipped off my perch. He casually turned to look, and then his eyes came face to face with those of a large female Sparrowhawk, sitting on the windowsill the other side of the glass.
There was a look of malevolence in the Sparrowhawk’s eyes, and it was clearly after having me for its breakfast. My owner leapt up and shouted. The Sparrowhawk didn’t batt an eyelid, but continued its cold, steely stare. Finally, my owner rushed to the window next to where the Sparrowhawk was sitting, and flung it open, and only then did it fly away.
This was an unwelcome reminder of the daily terrors faced by the wild birds in the garden. And it was also a reminder that our world is far from perfect, certainly when compared to Heaven. For in Heaven, there is no system of predator and prey; no illnesses or diseases like Covid; no natural disasters; no threat of death or loss; no accidents; no fears or worries or insecurities. Heaven offers us all the perfect warmth and comfort that can only come from pure, unadulterated, finite love.
And I know that’s hard to imagine when you look at it from the perspective of our present world. But God understands this. And it’s because He understands our situation so well, that He gave us the gift of Jesus. Jesus came to the world to experience first-hand, the threats and suffering, the trouble and the pain that afflicts humanity and all creation. And to let us know that there is something much better out there, if we can only put our trust in Him. Jesus is the “get out of jail card” for every one of us.
Christmas Day is fast approaching. And if we can only understand the full significance of what it really means for us, then we should be beside ourselves with hope and joy. Because the birth of Jesus shows us that God is on our side. That He cares for us, He understands us, and that He wants to help us. Even when we don’t deserve it. And the promise of Salvation is the greatest Christmas present that any of us will ever receive!
“But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David, a Saviour has been born to you’…..” (Luke:2:10-11a)