Eternal Perspectives by Sally Bair
The Red Cardinal
The unique song of the red cardinal always makes me stop and hunt for its songster. Most often I can find it, with its bright plumage that stands out against the green of northern pines and the equally brilliant snow covering the trees and ground.
The bird makes its presence known by both color and voice. In fact, its very presence seems to fill our hearts with wonder at God’s creation. The color red signifies everlasting vitality and creativity, boldness and passion. We see red in blood and fire.
We also can think of Jesus when we see red. His shed blood for our sins shows His utter humility and love, while the lessons He taught about the need for righteousness versus the presence of ungodliness represent His passionate, fiery nature.
And since we are to be followers of Jesus, He would have us be like the red cardinal. That is, we can and should make our voices heard for the sake of His righteousness in drawing people to Him for forgiveness and spiritual maturity. Through our words and actions, people should be able to see the vivid color of red, so to speak, in our vitality and strength of purpose. By observing our lives as Christians, many unbelievers have come to personal faith in Christ, their lives changed as dramatically as from a sparrow to a cardinal.
Paul wrote to Timothy, his partner in spreading the Gospel: “Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” (1Timothy 4:12) And the apostle Peter wrote similar exhortations to new Christians: “For to this you were called … leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps.” (1 Peter 2:21) Indeed, our actions motivated by God’s love in us should demonstrate the vitality and purpose He would have for us.
To watch a red cardinal fly to a snow-covered tree is to watch a sermon without words. God would have us be as bold in our passion to worship and serve Christ, to witness to His goodness and mercies wherever we go.
Lord, thank You for the red cardinal which blesses us with glimpses of Your passion. May we be as bold and passionate as we speak and act on Your behalf. In Jesus’ name, amen.