Beauty surrounds us, but we usually need to be walking in a garden to know it - Rumi
For the last few years blackbirds have nested in the bushes in our garden. Last year we had two nests at opposite ends of the garden. However, we were rather concerned that they might not do so this year as our neighbours have a cat. Cats and birds do not mix. Nevertheless, this morning I saw a young male blackbird in the garden. He was happily feeding on the bugs, worms and insects the overnight rain had brought out, whilst keeping a wary eye on me watching him from the kitchen window. I hope he was scouting for a suitable nest site but only time will tell. Sure enough come evening there was a female blackbird busily feeding in the borders. It looks as if they are preparing to build a nest in which to lay their eggs, hatch and fledge their offspring. They will both need to stock up on as much food as they can to provide them with the energy needed for that task. As any parent knows raising a family is no easy job!
Yesterday was Palm Sunday which marks the beginning of Holy Week leading to the climax, the greatest feast of the Church’s year, Easter. The disciples welcomed Jesus in to Jerusalem with cheers, making sufficient fuss to cause consternation among the authorities, whilst laying down palms to smooth his way. This was the Messiah of whom Isaiah spoke, who would lead them to overthrow the hated Roman tyranny and re-establish the Jewish nation! His entry into Jerusalem fulfilled the prophecies: “Look, your king is approaching, he is vindicated and victorious, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey” Zechariah 9:9. They would also have remembered from the scriptures that Solomon, the son of David made his royal entrance into Jerusalem seated on a mule. (1 Kings 1:38). Like the blackbirds the disciples were preparing for a new era, a new beginning, new life. And so it came about, although not in the way they had expected.
The question then is simply this: How are your preparations going to receive the Messiah into your life? Are you ready to accept Him, to do His will and walk in His ways? If not, what is holding you back?
Peter is a father and a grandfather who has been retired from full time employment for a number of years