Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. (1 Corinthians 15:51-53 NKJV) (emphasis mine)
While in the Aviary at Lowry Park last week, this little avian wonder caught my attention. Our Scarlet Ibis juvenile is in the process of becoming a beautiful adult, but at present he is still in transition. The Lord’s Creative Hand gave these ibises protection while growing up, but now that change to a full-grown Scarlet Ibis is becoming very evident.
Adult plumage is virtually all scarlet. The feathers may show various tints and shades, but only the tips of their wings deviate from their namesake color. A small but reliable marking, these wingtips are a rich inky black (or occasionally dark blue) and are found only on the longest primaries – otherwise the birds’ coloration is “a vivid orange-red, almost luminous in quality.” Scarlet ibises have red bills and feet however the bill is sometimes blackish, especially toward the end. They have a long, narrow, decurved bill. Their legs and neck are long and extended in flight.
A juvenile scarlet ibis is a mix of grey, brown, and white. As it grows, a heavy diet of red crustaceans produces the scarlet coloration. The color change begins with the juvenile’s second moult, around the time it begins to fly: the change starts on the back and spreads gradually across the body while increasing in intensity over a period of about two years. The scarlet ibis is the only shorebird with red coloration in the world.
As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. (1 Peter 2:2-3 KJV) (emphasis mine)
As these young Scarlet Ibises are growing into beautifully colored adults, you can see how they have grown from the baby to where they are now.
So, we as Christians, should be growing and changing as we grow in the Lord. How do we grow? Reading God’s Word, attending a good Bible preaching church, praying, studying, and doing whatever the Lord may lead you to do to help out. These juveniles are starting to change and so will you as grow in the Lord. Sooner or later you will bloom into a mature Christian able and willing to serve Our Lord wherever or however He chooses.
You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. (2 Peter 3:17-18 NASB)
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. (Romans 1:20-23 NKJV) (emphasis mine)
Scarlet Ibis – Threskiornithidae – Ibises, Spoonbills