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 ”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, but you would not!” Luke 13:34

     ”Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matt. 11:28-30

Dear Lord Jesus, of all the metaphors you used to help us understand who you are and how you love, “mother hen” is perhaps the most unusual, and yet, the most endearing. That you chose such an image says much about the depths of your affection and the intensity of your engagement in our lives.

It also reveals how fragile, vulnerable, and foolish we are as your “brood”. There’s not a lot a baby chick can do to protect and defend herself. I’m so thankful for your commitment to gather me, because I am “prone to wander, Lord, I feel it; prone to leave the God I love.” Keep running after me, Jesus—when I naively drift and when I wantonly roam, to places I have no business exploring.

For it is always your intent to place us under your wings, next to your heart. You are such a compassionate, kind, and tender Savior. How foolish I am to think otherwise. How foolish I am to think there’s any greater sanctuary, any more settling and centering place, any more peaceful and nourishing abode, than to be close to you.

Though a nursing mother may even forget her suckling child (Isa. 49:15), you will never forget or forsake us, Lord Jesus. Because the gospel is true and powerful, I am willing to be gathered today.

I come bringing my weariness and my foolishness; my brokenness and my weakness; my deep longings and my perpetual restlessness; my unnamed wounds and my yet-to-be-wiped tears; my plans for today and my dreams for tomorrow. It is your welcome that is my hope, and your grace that is my feast. So very Amen I pray, in your loving and faithful name.

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Scotty Smith

Scotty Smith is the founding pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, Tennessee. You can follow him on Twitter.

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