Thursday, August 20, 2015

The STORY behind the SONG "Birds Ballad" - Tony Hilling

When you study the early councils of the church, you begin to realize how important solid doctrine is. For instance, a philosopher named Arius claimed that Jesus was just a man like us. Arius then reduced the scriptures to bare ethical principles. So influential was this movement that Arianism as it was called, almost replaced orthodox Christianity in the early centuries of the Christian era. Now the Christian faith has an ethical component. But at its core Christianity is a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, crucified and risen, true God and true man, from which ethical conduct should flow. But it’s not just about keeping the rules. It’s about believing in the Son of God who substitutes His righteousness for our sinfulness and ultimately sanctifies us. So Jesus is not just another Moses or Abraham or Elijah: He is God Incarnate. This is unique in the religious Hall of Fame. No other faith teaches that God Himself came down to earth, took flesh and died on the cross for the sin of humanity. Yet today, we still see the truth of the Incarnation contested.

In the late Fall of 1991, I was reading an article in the Catholic Digest which told the story of a man who did not believe that God could take on human flesh. So, on Christmas Eve, he sent his wife and two children to go to the midnight service while he stayed at home. He dozed a little in his easy chair but awoke because of some birds that were flying against the window. He looked out and saw that a violent storm was driving them. He went outside and opened his barn and tried to gently shoo the birds in where they could take shelter. But they would not follow him. He put bread crumbs inside to attract them, but still they would not be led. Finally, he realized that the birds just did not trust him. But if he were able to be a man and a bird; have the intelligence of a man yet communicate like a bird, he could lead them to safety. Just as he thinks that thought, the church bells chime out that it is Christmas and the man suddenly comes to his senses. Jesus, the Son God had to become one of us in order to bring us to salvation. I retold this story in rhyme and in music, and entitled it, “The Ballad of the Birds”.

So, if there are folks out there who think Jesus was just a man, or a prophet, some kind of a demi-god, or perhaps even a “real, cool, guy.” Consider this: another human being broken by sin could not have helped us. Similarly, God coming without the human flesh would not have availed either. It had to be someone who carried our humanity and yet was innocent of all sin. We needed someone who was both God AND man. Jesus fit the job description perfectly.
“He had to become one of us
He had to become one of us.
He is Christ the One Lord,
Son of Man, Son of God.
And He had to become one of us!

To purchase this song, or any of Tony's other songs,just go to the Helping Hands Press Store:

1 comment:

  1. Excellent illustration, Tony.