August 4th, 2005


New Member
Jesus said, "Jerusalem, Jerusalem . . . How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!"

-Matthew 23:37 (NRSV)

DURING the Great Depression, I spent my childhood in a small village in West Virginia. We raised chickens to earn a living. We would place a hen on eggs, and she remained on them until they hatched. The hen didn't necessarily sit on her own eggs; the eggs could have come from any hen. When the chicks hatched, we would put the hen and her brood in a special coop, and she would care for them until they were grown.

None of my memories proclaims love more than those of a mother hen caring for her brood. During the day she kept them by her side; she would never allow even one to get out of her sight but would call it when it began to wander. She would fight, even giving her life, to protect her chicks. During the night she covered them with her wings to protect them from the cold.

Jesus had observed a similar scene, for he compared the protective love of a hen to the care he wanted to give his people. This call extends to you and me today. When sorrow, disappointment, and illness come into our lives, Christ offers us hope and eternal sanctuary.

Harold M. Fuss (Virginia, U.S.A.)
God of all the world, thank you for your love, your presence, and your protection. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.