Blessed… Under Her Wings

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem! You who kill the prophets and stone those who were sent to you. How often I wanted to gather your people together, just as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings. But you didn’t want that.  Look, your house is left to you deserted.  I tell you, you won’t see me until you say, Blessings on the one who comes in the Lord’s name” (Matthew 23:37-39, Common English Bible).

When I read today’s lesson my mind went back to a story I heard several years ago. Many versions of the story have circulated over the years, some even claiming to be a true story. The original version of the story was published in 1945 as a parable. Others have rewritten the story to take place in a forest fire in Yellowstone.

I know the version I first heard is not the original version of the story. Still, I will share it with you as I first heard it. Perhaps this way it will be a new story to you.

When one of the hens hatched her eggs spring was only a few days away. She had great difficulty keeping those new hatchlings close. There were sixteen chicks in total and they were a curious lot, always trying to go off and explore and learn. Such was a dangerous proposition for any chick. If a chick wandered too far from mother hen, they could find themselves as a meal for the cat who lived in the barn.

One day the weather forecast called for a late winter blizzard. Forecasters expected the temperature to drop well below freezing and that it would stay there for two or three days. Most farmers, including the farmer with the little chicks, threw extra hay into the barn and then closed it up tight in an effort to keep all the animals warm.

As expected an early March blizzard blew through the area around the farm. Temperatures dropped along with a great deal of snow. When the farmer made his way back to the barn he expected to find dead chicks everywhere. After all, the poor hen was having great difficulty keeping all of them corraled under her. One small chick alone in a cold barn would never survive.

When the farmer went into the barn he was amazed. There were only two dead chicks. The other surprise was, he found the hen dead. She was exposed to too much cold.

The farmer was wondering where he might find the other chicks. He looked around the barn but didn’t find them. As he looked he picked up the two chicks who had died. Then he made his way to the dead hen. When he picked up her body, he was amazed to find fourteen chicks. She had given up herself so her chicks might survive.

The less tells of Jesus wanting to be like that mother hen. Truly, he is like that mother hen for all of us. Some, like the two chicks who wandered away, are determined to make it on our own. In the end, the mother hen couldn’t save all her chicks. Some of the chicks were determined to go in their own direction. Likewise, some of us are determined to go in a different direction than Jesus is trying to lead others. He cannot save those who refuse to be saved.

Jesus cried over Jerusalem because there, many didn’t want to gather under the safety of his wings. I can’t help but think Jesus weeps today because there are still many who reject the safety and seek to follow their own way.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Joy and Thanksgiving,

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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