Haggai 1: 1 – 15
Revelation 2: 18 – 29
Matthew 23: 27 – 39
Perhaps our earliest memory of a picture of Jesus is of the caring shepherd tending lovingly to the sheep, carrying a lamb upon His shoulder, rescuing a fallen lamb from a rocky precipice.
Have you ever compared Jesus to a hen, gathering her scattered chicks to her, protecting them under her “puffed up” wings and breast feathers?
One of today’s verses is from Matthew 23: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, and you were not willing.”
Jesus longs to mother us, to protect us, to give us comfort, to forgive us as does a mother.
Now we are awaiting the birth of The Christ Child, The Messiah, who is coming to share just how much God loves us. This wee baby will be our Shepherd who lovingly leads us through life's challenges, who will tenderly carry us and reach out to rescue us. This baby will be our Mother Hen who will lovingly gather us in under protective feathers.
In the words of Sr. Elizabeth Ann Eckert SSJD, from her hymn “Christ the Hen”:
“O Jesus you long to gather us up
and shelter us under your wings.
As a hen takes her brood within her nest
close sheltered from danger and harm
You stretch out your strong arms, like wings on the cross
and lovingly gather us in.
Your heart calls to us as hens call their broods,
and you shelter us close by your heart.”*
*used with permission