25th July 2018

Being Different

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
Romans 12:2 (NKJV)

I listened, transfixed by the piercing bird whistle which was coming from the trees at the bottom of the garden. I couldn’t see the bird but I knew that it wasn’t a native species. A few days later I caught a fleeting glimpse of a bird about the size of a pigeon, with what appeared to be a red beak and dark feathers. Then, a few days after that, I heard the piercing whistle again and spotted the bird perched on a bare tree branch in full view of the house. I hurriedly grabbed my binoculars, hoping that the bird would stay long enough to be identified. When I focused on the bird I was stunned by its plumage. Its body was covered from beak to claws with bright red feathers. The long tail feathers were much darker and the wings were a bright green with a light stripe running down the length of each wing. I searched the Internet and was able to identify the bird as a male Australian King Parrot who had probably escaped from an aviary in the locality. Pondering on the Parrot’s predicament brought some scriptures to mind that I’d recently read.

I could easily see that the King Parrot was a beacon of bright colour amongst the greys and browns of the native birds. In Matthew 5:14 & 16 Jesus tells the disciples “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden…Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Because of the King Parrot’s exceptionally bright plumage I was concerned that he was in danger of being attacked by other birds. When Jesus was praying to His Father about His disciples, He was acutely aware of the hostile environment they would have to deal with. In John 17:14-15 Jesus prayed, “I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.”

It’s obvious that the King Parrot doesn’t fit in with the native birds. His diet and climate needs are different to theirs. In the header scripture we are told we must not be conformed to the world—Christians are different. I don’t know how long the King Parrot will survive. Only God knows that, but I take comfort in Jesus’ words in Matthew 10:29-31, “Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”

Prayer
Thank you, Father, for your stunning creation. Being different poses many challenges but you’ve shown us how much we mean to you. Please help us as we face these challenges. In Jesus’ name.
Amen

Study by Diana Hall

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About the Author:
Diana Hall attends the Southampton Congregation of the Worldwide Church of God, UK.

Local Congregation:
Worldwide Church of God Southampton
Tauntons College
Hill Lane
SOUTHAMPTON
SO15 5RL

Meeting Time:
Saturday 11:00am

Local Congregational Contact:
Peter Noon
Email: peter_noon@wcg.org.uk

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