We return to our occasional reading from beginning to end through the Gospel of Matthew, which emphasizes Jesus' divine nature and his status as the Messiah—as the Son of David, the Son of Man, and the Son of God.
Read Matthew 23:37-39
"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.'"
In dramatic contrast to his honest, harsh words about the chronic hypocrisy of the religious authorities, here we see Jesus' deep emotion and love for his people. The verbal picture of a hen tenderly gathering her chicks is the polar opposite of vicious snakes waiting to attack.
Lord, don't let us ever forget this powerful picture of you as the mother hen, providing your protective love. Thank you for seeking to draw us close to you, even when we stubbornly pull back. Thank you that we can find rest and peace under the shadow of your wings. Amen.