On his web site, Tony Cooke relates yet another Paul Harvey story having to do with birds. This time, the story centers, not on the message of Easter, but of Christmas. He writes…
IF I COULD ONLY BECOME A BIRD
Paul Harvey tells the story about a family on Christmas Eve. This family had a tradition where the Mother and children would go to the Christmas Eve service, and the Father would stay home and read the paper. When the family returns home from church, they would all gather to open up their presents.
The Father was not an evil man, but he just couldn't believe in the childhood stories anymore of God coming as a baby in a manger. As the family left for church, he opened up the evening paper and began to read by the fireplace.
Suddenly, he heard tapping on the window. It was a bird flying against the glass of his window trying to get out of the snow into the warmth of his home. The man had compassion on the bird, and he went outside, hoping to bring it in.
As he approached the bird, the bird just flew against the window even harder. Pretty soon, the bird flew into the bushes below the window, half frozen, yet too afraid to be caught by this huge man. The more the man tried to reach for the bird, the more the bird flew frantically into the snow and thorns of the bushes.
After a few minutes in the cold and seeing the bird continue to injure itself, the man yelled out in frustration, "Stupid bird, can't you understand that I'm trying to help?" The man paused and thought, "If only you understood you wouldn't fly away ... if only ... if only I could become a bird, and get you to understand."
Just then, the church bells rang, as they always have on the hour. But when the man heard the bells this time, he fell to his knees and began to cry, saying, "Oh, God, I didn't understand. Oh, God, I didn't understand."
Rev. Cooke concludes with these words: “God's Son came in human form that we might understand from where we have come, for what reason we were separated, and how we could be restored to God.”
How right he is. The Apostle Paul, in his New Testament letter to the Philippians (2:6-11), tells us of Christ Jesus - that it was He…
6Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
8And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death - even death on a cross! 9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
And that is the meaning of Christmas: the God of the universe became a man in Jesus Christ: to give Himself as a sacrifice for our sins! The Babe in the manger grew up to become the Savior on the cross! And for this reason, Christians today very often sing this little song:
Lord I lift Your name on high! Lord I love to sing Your praises!
I'm so glad You’re in my life! I'm so glad You came to save us!
You came from heaven to earth… to show the way!
from the earth to the cross… my debt to pay!
from the cross to the grave… from the grave to the sky…
Lord I lift Your name on high!**
Can you sing this song? Indeed, you can! If you will but embrace the Christ of Christmas, this can be your testimony as well!
NOTE: This story is verifiably traceable to Paul Harvey. Several different audio versions of him personally reciting this story have been posted to www.YouTube.com, some dating back to as early as 1965.
And also https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddai8rkXWRs.
Scripture source: http://biblehub.com/niv/philippians/2.htm.
** This song was written by Rick Founds in 1989, and first recorded by the Maranatha Singers. It has since been covered by numerous other recording artists. Cf.: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord,_I_Lift_Your_Name_on_High.