“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”
There are many names we associate with Jesus: Christ, Saviour, Lord, Teacher, Son of God, the list goes on. Perhaps a name we don’t associate with Jesus is Mother Hen. In today’s passage the hour of Jesus betrayal and death is approaching. Jesus is in Jerusalem, in the temple courts, he has criticized the religious rulers as whitewashed tombs. Clean and bright on the outside but dead inside. Their lack of mercy, justice and faith bringing Jesus’ condemnation, then suddenly we see Jesus full of compassion. We see him compare himself to a mother hen, wanting to gather Jerusalem (the Jews) under his wings and being unable to do so due to their unwillingness to accept him for who he really is. Today, reflect on how we might be more like Jesus, seeking to gather those who are lost, showing them his compassion and may you know the protection of his wings as you do so.
Lord Jesus, help us to accept you for who you really are. Help us also to be more like you and less like whitewashed tombs. Forgive us for our “holier than thou” attitude and empower us to show mercy, compassion, hope and love to all. Amen.
Stuart Nixon is a Special Category Minister working in Salford
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