"Annika, what should I write today's blog post about? When we get home tonight I have to write an entire blog post, and I have no idea what I'm going to say."
Annika, age 5 answers back as quick as lightning, "You should write about a chicken."
A chicken? Alrighty then.
I sat here at the computer for 30 minutes trying to get the chicken out of my head and think of a real topic. But she just wouldn't leave. So I decided to let my mind wander there.
Let's see... what kind of scripture-based material could I come up that is based on a chicken? I can't believe I just typed that out. Hmm... Noah's ark (just not feeling it)... animal sacrifice (no thank you).
But wait. Wait! There's that verse that says there are times God wants to be like a mother hen who gathers her chicks and protects them under the comfort of her wings. Now we're talking. I can't wait to tell Annie when she wakes up tomorrow.
Photo by Topinambour - Creative Commons
37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!
By itself, this verse may seem strange and confusing. So let's talk about its meaning and discuss the back story a bit. Verse 37 begins with Jesus shaking his head at the leadership of Jerusalem during his day. Namely King Herod and other city leaders. Jesus laments that Israel keeps rejecting God's call for them to repent. The plot to kill Jesus isn't revealed until later on in the book of Matthew (chapter 26), but as we can imagine, the city's leaders were not exactly happy with the things Jesus was saying about them.
And then we get to the chicken part.
Jesus then likens the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (the trinity) to a mother hen. He reveals his desire to call His children to Himself and shelter them like a mama hen does her chicks. But they don't want to. I think of a stubborn 3 year-old who, when given the offer of a hug from mama, turns his back. Denying the gift of a hug. Staying firmly planted in his poor choice.
I must say, looking at pictures of hens gathering chicks unto herself, was one of the highlights of my day. Go ahead. Go to Google. Click on the word Image at the top of the page, then type in these search words "hen chicks under wing." Just try it. I gasped at the beauty of it all.
If you would just repent, stubborn city! I'd be able to scoop you up in love like I've been longing to. (my paraphrase)
I don't want to be a stubborn city. And I don't want to be like a headstrong toddler either. I want to be a chick who is accepting the shelter of the Most High God. Under His wings.