What do Robins have to do with the Kingdom of God?
The 2020 War of the Robins
We have an ongoing war in our backyard. Every year, our choke cherry trees become the focus of pitched battles and outright murder.
Nature operates under a fixed law known as the survival of the fittest. God had good reasons for putting this law in place. It keeps nature from degenerating and ensures that species will survive and thrive. But its not pretty. Nature isn’t the peaceful, benign, inoffensive entity we imagine it to be as we admire a sunset, or a baby fawn. In reality, nature is cruel and selfish, destroying the weaker members of its population.
That is why we have a war in our back yard. One pair of robins has claimed it as their territory and any other bird they catch eating from “their” trees is in trouble. In fact if they were the size of eagles instead of robins, I’m not sure it would be safe for us to go out there.
I was watching this process this morning and thinking about the similarities between robins and humans. Especially unregenerate humans.
The Kingdom of God in 2020
Jesus described the kind of citizens the Kingdom of God consists of in the Sermon on the Mount (see Mat 5, 6, 7). He introduced His explanation with the Beatitudes…
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the humble, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs.
(Mat 5:3-10 CSB)
Think about robins again for a moment. These verses describe some very “unrobin-like” characteristics. If robins fit this mold, they would have died out millenniums ago. Nature would have destroyed them.
This is one argument that some Christians try to use. You can’t live by the sermon on the mount, they say. It’s impossible. So they try to push it out into some “magic” dispensation where the laws of nature apparently are suspended.
But Jesus makes several things clear in His teaching.
- The Kingdom is NOW (Mat 3:2; 4:17, 23; …)
- Everyone is invited into the Kingdom (Luke 14:16)
- Riches are a hinderance to entering the Kingdom (Luke 18:16 – 25)
- Joining the Kingdom may cost you everything you own, and everyone you love (Luke 18:29, 30)
Read the Sermon on the Mount carefully. Read the Gospels carefully. Jesus’ teachings will turn your world upside down. We don’t hear these concepts preached in our churches very often. We don’t see them in the lives of our fellow Christians.
You will not find robins in the Kingdom of God. They don’t fit. They would destroy it. But people can become citizens of the Kingdom if they are willing to put aside the things most of us think we have a right to have. Riches, fame, self-defense, selfishness, pride, arrogance, and such like need to go.