The cardinal: a picture of Christ’s redemption

Female cardinal

I am not a morning person, so one of my favorite scriptures is Proverbs 27:14, “He who blesses his friend with a a loud voice, rising early in the morning, It will be counted a curse to him.” (People who cheerily say “Good morning!” annoy me, lol.) Just let me spend a little time with God, get some caffeine, put on my face, check email, and I might be reasonably awake by 10 a.m.

This morning was different, though. I awoke at 5 a.m, and did not go back to sleep. I prayed a little while and sat in the twilight in our den, listening to my Ipod to Cindy Rushton’s Ultimate Homeschool Expo.

Soon Ray woke up and came into the den. He’s off work for the next few days, and it was nice for just the two of us to talk alone for awhile. After breakfast, I began washing the few dishes left from last night, and noticed outside the kitchen window a female cardinal on our back deck. I stopped to admire it and to thank God for this blessing.

The female is a neutral brown-beige color, with a little red in its plumage and on its beak. But the beautiful male counterpart is bright red, with a black face mask, and soft brushes of black on its wings and tail. It is my favorite bird, and each time I see one, I feel it is God giving me a special little gift and telling me that He loves me.

Male red cardinal

The cardinal has been christened the Christmas bird for its glorious color, and is a symbol of beauty and Christ’s redemption.

Ephesians 1:3-7 says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.”

To redeem means “to pay off, to set free, rescue, or ransom.” Christ has paid off the debt of our sins, rescued us from hell and death, and set us free by the power of His blood at the Cross, so we can live eternally with God the Father.

Now that’s good news this morning!



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