Monday, July 21, 2014

Wren Resurrection

We have a birdhouse mounted on one of the posts on our deck. From our den through the sliding glass door we can watch the birds build their nest. Every year we are delighted to see the return of the house wren. We have come to recognize their familiar call and know step by step the process which ends with new life emerging from the box. This year was no exception. The wrens arrived on time and began nesting. However, a few weeks after they began to settle in, there was an unwanted intruder. A catbird would perch on the roof of the bird box and often times begin battling with the wrens as they emerged from their nest. One morning I noticed we were no longer awakened to the familiar singing of the wrens. I looked out the window of our upstairs bedroom and could see something brown that looked like grass and/or sticks hanging out of the hole in the bird box. Upon going out on to the deck I was horrified to discover that what was hanging out of the bird box was the lifeless body of one of the wrens. My husband carefully removed the remains and discovered the wren's partner also deceased inside. I was sad and angry at the same time thinking of the senseless killing that I attributed to the catbird (although I had no concrete proof). These wrens were just minding their own business trying to start and raise a family. They did nothing wrong to deserve such a cruel end. I mourned the fact that I would not hear the peeping of the new born baby birds nor watch them grow and eventually take flight. I kept looking at that empty bird box day after day continuing to grieve the loss and asking God to heal my heart. One morning after a few weeks had passed, I heard a familiar song. I looked out the window to see a house wren sitting on the railing near the bird box. I couldn't believe it! I thought maybe there would be a new pair nesting. However after that one new sighting I never saw the wren return. I began to wonder why the bird did not return and it occurred to me that what had just played out over several weeks was a "bird's eye view" of the resurrection. Those nesting birds came to "make their home with us" in a sense. They came to bring us joy and delight in watching their relationship bring forth new life. Jesus came and made His home with us (John 1:14) so we too could delight in God's presence as He was about to bring forth new spiritual life for all humanity. The catbird was the "enemy" who came to steal, kill, and destroy just like Satan the enemy of our souls. (John 10:10) It appeared with the death of those wrens that their enemy, the catbird had won, just as the enemy of our souls delighted in seeing Jesus crucified. The One who did nothing wrong, who was without sin did not deserve to die such a cruel death. Indeed his disciples were so devastated they fled and went into hiding. (John 20:19) However, the resurrected Lord appeared to His followers encouraging them and having fulfilled His mission on earth, He empowered them with the Holy Spirit and sent them out to carry on His work. (John 20:19-23; Matthew 28:16-20; Acts 2:1-13) I believe the appearance of the new house wren a few weeks later was God's way of reminding me that although the other birds had perished, there was still new life, a "resurrection" of the birds. Just as Jesus emerged from the tomb after 3 days, that empty bird box and the arrival of a new wren was a reminder that death did not have the final word. Indeed with Christ's resurrection the renewal process has begun in all creation. Paul tells us that "creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God." (Romans 8:21) Moreover, we groan along with all creation awaiting the return of our Lord and our redemption. (Romans 8:22-25) Praise God not only for eternal life for all who believe but those little "feathered" reminders that keep hope alive!
Blessings In Christ,
Pastor Sheree