THE TUI – A SYMBOL OF A FRESH REVIVAL IN AOTEAROA
by Ian Johnson
The Tui Bird is fairly common in NZ, especially the North Island, and is a member of the Honey eater family. The Tui is a songbird and has two voice boxes, enabling it to make a variety of sounds including inaudible sounds, thus it sings in two realms at one time. The bird represents NZ in sound – It can operate in two realms; the audible and inaudible simultaneously. Two sounds in one body.
This weekend I saw 28 Tuis in one tree. I've never seen so many Tuis in one place and I have since had people telling me that there seems to be a Tui revival going on in NZ right now. One man said he had seen up to 50 in one place recently, something that 10 years ago would have been unheard of.
I was already starting to think about the two sounds in one body aspect as being like God's plan for NZ. Maori and Pakeha in partnership to bring out the sound of the land. So when I heard that there is a Tui revival going on in the land I thought, "Wow!" Then I thought I had better check out the number I saw in one tree 28 – The Strongs Hebrew is “Abidah” which means “My Father knows”, but it comes from the root Abba which means foundational Father. So through the 28 birds God was speaking to me about Foundational Fathers.
This led me to think about my encounter in Sydney a few weeks ago when I was reminded by the Lord about the partnership between Samuel Marsden and the Maori Rangitira (chief) Ruatara in bringing the gospel to NZ in 1814. One without the other would not have worked, but together they released a fresh sound in the nation of NZ. This partnership saw a move of God in Aotearoa that has not been replicated. By 1860 – 63% of Maori had become Christian, a revival in anyone’s terms. This was the foundation of our nation and it was born in partnership. Two voices, one message, Maori & Pakeha together.
The Tui revival excites me, so I declare the Tui as the symbol of the revival about to hit our nation Two voices in one body releasing a sound out of two realms at the same time. Two voices, One sound, Maori & Pakeha together. Heaven and earth speaking together. Honey eaters eating the fresh nectar of God's revelation in our land. Song birds declaring the glorious sound of the ends of the earth. Unique to our nation, a true sound of Aotearoa. An indigenous move of God, a habitation of heaven in the ends of the earth.