Did you know Jesus wanted to be Graceful Like a Chicken?
(Seriously, this is how you know that anything can be found in the Bible!)
But really, Jesus said it himself in Matthew 23:37:
“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."
You see, Jesus wanted to extend himself to the people: extend his love, his guidance, his forgiveness, his protection from the evils of this world, but especially his GRACE. He longed to bring peace to the people, gathering them all together in his love, gathering them all as one, as children, to a place where struggling rivals become loving siblings, where they became united as a greater whole. He wanted to do it like a hen would take care of her brood. He wanted to wrap them up and hold them tight, even in the face of danger; even at the expense of himself. He still wants that for each of us. Are we willing?
I had an interesting conversation a year or so ago with a reader of the blog. She had asked what happens when a fox gets into the hen house. (She was preaching on the above passage and needed to know the entire story. Could a hen actually protect itself, or its chicks, from a fox?) I wrote a local bird guy in the area and he said the fox would go in, take out one hen at a time and eat it and then would keep coming back until he had finished them all off. I am guessing that wasn't the image she had wanted. It is daunting. It is extreme. But I'd like to believe the mother hen knows what she is doing. She knows she cannot offer total protection from all that could hurt her babes. She only has so much to offer. So she simply gathers her chicks up, fluffs her feathers a bit and hides them, hoping the fox will not see them, change his mind perhaps, maybe just take her and leave her babies. She can keep them warm and secure under her wings. She can hold them close, loving them until the very end. She really can't protect them from physical death in this world. That death is inevitable. But she will be with them through the entire process, sacrificing herself when she must.
Jesus wants to be like that hen, wrapping us in his arms, extending his grace to us all, sacrificing himself so that we might have life. He wants to extend his grace to us, like a hen to her chicks, if only we will let him. He wants to be full of grace, in fact, he is grace; and he is grace-filled, graceful, like a chicken. See?
Ok, lightening hasn't struck me down so I think I am in the clear. Phew! But, here is a video that shows the powerful love of a chicken. (I don't remember if I have posted it in the past. It's a a wee bit long-winded and a little corny but then again, so am I.) Enjoy!
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