We parrots love the story of the nativity. Not only is it a very happy story, but it also includes lots of animals. There are the farm animals in the stable and all those sheep on the surrounding hills being watched over by the shepherds. And later, there are even some camels which make an appearance. It’s just a shame that no parrots are featured, but hey-ho, if we had been there, we’d probably have sat in a row on the edge of the crib and started to gnaw our way through it!
When Jesus appeared here on Earth, He became a real focal point, drawing humans towards Him from far and wide. First of all, it was those shepherds from the hills. Then came the Three Wise Men. And later, once Jesus had become an adult, humans travelled great distances to hear Him preach, to receive a cure or to simply to became one of His disciples.
Now that the physical Jesus is no longer here on Earth, how do we go about finding Him this Christmas? We can go to church and put out models of the nativity scene, but that’s not quite the same as coming face to face with Him.
And this is where some parrot wisdom comes in. Because to answer that question, we need to see everything from a different angle, (and parrots do that by hanging upside down!) You see, the spiritual Jesus has taken over from the physical one here on Earth. Humans find that very hard to accept because they like everything to be physical, tangible and clearly defined. Many of them find it hard to embrace the idea of a spiritual existence. They’re used to everything here on Earth being contained within some form of physical structure. And this is where so much of the problem lies.
Apart from the many models of Him in different nativity scenes, Jesus is not a persona outside us. The spiritual Jesus can move around wherever He pleases, including deep inside every one of us. Have you ever stopped to think about where all the goodness inside you comes from? So often we search for Jesus in the wrong places. We need to start searching for Him within ourselves and in everyone we meet.
This Christmas, Jesus will be inside the doctors and nurses who continue to care for their patients on Christmas Day. Jesus will be inside the volunteers that have given up their Christmas Day to help look after homeless people as well as the frail and needy. He’ll be inside every mother and father as they lovingly wrap up a present to give to their child. And Jesus will be inside the human that invites their lonely or bereaved next-door neighbour in to join in their Christmas celebrations. Because wherever love and selfless giving occur, Jesus is present. He is the embodiment of all love and sacrifice.
All around the world right now, there are millions of very good human beings, all playing their part in helping to make our world a better place through their selfless acts of love and giving. So often they are letting Jesus work through them without ever realising it….
“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s spirit lives in you?” (1 Corinthians: 3: 16).
“But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.” (Romans 8:10).
“If God can work through me, he can work through anyone.”
(Francis of Assisi: 1181-1226: Italian Catholic Saint, friar, deacon, preacher and founder of the Franciscan Order)
About my book:
“The Random Thoughts of a Christian Parrot” is published in hardback, 176 pages in length, full colour throughout and featuring more than 100 photographs. The ISBN is 978-1-5272-9810-1 and copies cost £12.00. The book includes a Foreword written by the Bishop of Crediton plus a total of 83 reflections which can serve as your “parrot thought of the day.”
Copies are available from Amazon, some bookshops or direct from me! If ordering direct, please enclose a cheque for £12.00 made out to the “Oakmoor Group of Parishes” and send it to: Coco the Parrot, Parkstone, George Nympton Village, EX36 4JE, U.K. Postage and packing is free!
100% of proceeds will go towards funding the work of local North Devon parishes, and particularly a new Outdoor Church initiative located on the edge of Exmoor. My book will make a great Christmas present for friends and family!
This is what others have to say about my book:
“I grant you, a book by a feathered friend is novel, but with this parrot, faith finds its wings. It is intelligent, kind and spiritually perceptive – more than can be said for some religious functionaries. I wonder if dog collars come in parrot sizes?”
(Dave Tomlinson: Priest, author and broadcaster)
“The mix of humour, challenge, biblical text and photography along with the views of our perceptive parrot, make this book a unique reflection on our twenty-first century lives.”
(Right Reverend Jackie Searle: Bishop of Crediton)
“Sometimes human wisdom just isn’t enough. Standing or flying outside our messy, confusing, but glorious lives, Coco the parrot helps us to look afresh at the things that really matter and the ways we can re-connect with God’s love – so that we too can soar!”
(Giles King-Smith: Acting Archdeacon of Barnstaple)