A British Robin (Erithacus rubecula)
photo by Donnie Ray Crisp on Unsplash

And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and put a purple robe on Him.
John 19:2 (NASB)

On Saturday evening as the sun was setting I was sitting in our back garden, enjoying the cooling breeze after the heat of the day. The trees rustled rhythmically from side to side, the pigeons cooed their roosting call in the distance. I watched squirrels scurrying back and forth on the adjoining fences, gathering nuts provided by our neighbour three doors away. Then I heard the gentle flutter of tiny wings, I turned to see a robin perched only a few feet away next to the garden shed. I smiled at our regular visitor, who doesn’t have any fear. It isn’t unusual for robins to accept food from a hand. I have always had particular fondness for these little beauties, not least because they remind me of my Lord.

Robins remind me of my Lord due to the legend attached to how they attained their red breast. The legend says that a little brown robin was present at the Crucifixion of our Lord, and was distraught by the cruelty it witnessed. It felt the least it could do was to remove one particularly deep thorn from Jesus’s brow, from which blood stained it’s previously plain breast plumage. The legend further says as the bird was trying to wash in a stream, our resurrected Lord recognised the wee bird and blessed it for its compassion saying that the red breast would remain as a reminder through generations as a badge of honour. This fictional story has value, every time I meet my garden friend I remember my Lord and Saviour on the cross of Calvary for me.

Dear reader, what reminds you today of Jesus, and what He did for you at Calvary?

29 thoughts on “A Robin’s Reminder

  1. The rising sun, I see most mornings on my way to work, reminds me that God is completely faithful. It’s dark just beyond my back porch this evening, but there’s no doubt: the sun will come back in the morning. Speaking of coming back, the risen Christ will return one day as well! Blessings, brother.

    PS. I do believe the English Robin is prettier than the American version.

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  2. The Colours of many species of native birds and their song glorify our Saviour in all corners of our world,. and keep our eyes ever for what is beautiful, Holy and of good report/ Phil6:4 Thank you.

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  3. Oh, I’ve never heard this story before. Do you know its source, Alan? I’ll look online, too. It reminds me one I heard in school. This story says that Jesus, as a child, made little birds out of mud, which flew away xxxxxx

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    1. Hi Ruth, I don’t know the source, but it must be quite ancient…I remember it from my childhood!😂
      There is another legend which puts the robin at the nativity, which makes Mary central to the story. That one is not one I had as a youngster. Thankyou for reading and commenting sister, God bless you today.

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    1. It is one of two robin legends associated to our Lord, this one being the one I was taught. I like it, and see the value in it. Thank you for being an encouragement Cindy, God bless you sister.

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  4. Alan, what a beautiful legend that I will now think of when I see & hear our red breasted robins. I spent a portion of my morning walk with Adi pondering your question- what reminds you today of Jesus, and what He did for you at Calvary? I would have to say it’s the sounds of His creation- this morning it was the distant honk of geese, the sound of the breeze blowing through the tree tops, and the chirping of the crickets tucked away in the tall grass. I could not see any of the things I heard yet I knew they were all there. A gift of goodness from our Creator for all. Jesus is the same. “For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son. The whosoever believeth in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” By believing in Jesus, not only are my sins forgiven, not only am I a new creation with the promise of life eternal, but I also have the eyes to see and ears to hear the wonders He has given us in His creation, like the Robin, and in His Word. As Peter wrote, “Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy” (1:8). These bird themed devotions truly speak to my outdoor loving nature.

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    1. Thank you for sharing your walk with me Beth, the only unfamiliar sound would be the crickets. I was thinking of geese recently with relation to the arrival of huge flocks to a nature reserve near me soon, it is quite a spectacular scene of thousands of geese descending on the loch mudflats. We are indeed blessed by His Word and the beauty of creation, both talking to us of Him. Just as animal tracks and sounds tell us of their presence, nature tells us of His presence close to us. My problem with bird themed devotions is remembering my birding stories, the old memory is quite unreliable nowadays. Maybe the Lord will remind me of some of them someday?
      God bless you sister.

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      1. Oh how lovely to live near a nature reserve! The beauty of the bird devotionals is that they are a double rich gift from the Lord- the gift of a memory and the gift of devotional connection. I’ll treasure them as they come.

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  5. What a beautiful legend! Though fictional, the sight of a robin will now prompt thoughts of Christ’s sacrifice at calvary and fresh gratitude for His gift of mercy to me. I’ve never heard this so thanks for posting.

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    1. Our God is magnificent indeed; He can use sinful men, animals, and weather etc. All to speak His Truth into our hearts. Thankyou for your encouragement sister, may He bless you richly today.

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