One summer, there was a young mother mallard who had her brood. And it was interesting to watch how she took care of all seven of them.
When anyone approached the lake, she became immediately aware and would gather her little brood together and hustle them along to hide in the reeds and brush that surrounded the edge of the lake.
One day when someone went really close to get a better look at them, she flew away. I was surprised by that at first, seeing a mother abandoning her young. But then it became obvious what she was up to. She was offering herself as a decoy. She wanted the intruders to notice and follow her, away from her ducklings. She was willing to sacrifice herself in order to protect her offspring.
Now maybe we can understand the lament and the passion in Jesus’ own voice when he looks out over the city of Jerusalem (Matthew 23:37-39). It is the cry of a mother who is worried to death about not only Jerusalem, but about all of us, God’s children.
Like a mother, Jesus sees far more clearly than do we, the children, the danger we are in and not just from the pandemic. Like a mother, Jesus knows we tend to over-estimate our powers and are prone to go off on our own, leaving his protective wings, to seek our own excitement and adventure. And like a mother, Jesus chases after us.
Do you see the image? Like a mother, Jesus’ love is so great that his all-consuming passion is to sweep us up into his protective arms, like a Good Shepherd does. And although there are others in pursuit of him, namely Herod, Jesus, like a mother, is persistent. Jesus sticks to what his love compels him to do. He pursues his flock with a passion.
Jesus calls out: “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, and you were not willing! See, your house is left desolate to you. For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’” (Matthew 23:37-39)
Jesus’ life on earth was ending when he said these words, but as our Risen Savior and our Good Shepherd, he is ever ready to scoop us up, and not leave us isolated and alone in this sickened world and in the world yet to come for us.
Remember…..Your prayers have NO expiration date. Please be sure to say a few today!