Cnr of Park Rd and MacMahon St, Hurstville Sundays at 9:30 am and 6:30 pm

What bird is that?

I finally got to use my ornithological almanac! Yesterday a strange bird perched on the gum tree in my neighbour’s yard. It wasn’t one of the usual suspects like the magpies and cockatoos that regularly take their turn on the limb, but a bird that I’d never seen before. It had the tailfeathers of an eagle and the beak of a toucan, and was brown and grey, and somewhat meek. I pulled my “What bird is that?” off the shelf with real purpose, and soon found the answer.

“What man is that?” asked many who saw Jesus during His days on earth. What manner of man is this, that stills storms, and forgives sinners, and heals diseases, and eats with tax-collectors? He was certainly not like one of the usual suspects who regularly took their turn on the street corner, offering long prayers and blowing their trumpets. There was a certain majesty about Him, but yet a lovely meekness too.

It’s possible of course to indulge in guesses about His identity, and many through the ages have done precisely that. But then it might be easier to consult a theological almanac, and especially the page that describes Messiah. Isaiah lists His colours: ‘Righteousness will be His belt, and faithfulness the sash around His waist’; and also His temperament: ‘A bruised reed He will not break’; and also His mating call: ‘Turn to Me and be saved, all you ends of the earth’. Sounds like an exact match to me.

DM 1st January 2021


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