Luke 13:31-35: Gathering Children
We know the importance of prophecy in God’s kingdom. We know the importance of the prophets themselves as God’s emissaries to the world. And we know that each of us is called to act as one of these messengers. How did Jesus recognize this work?
God says: Just because I call you to work in my vineyard does not mean that the work will be easy. Indeed, it is very likely to be the most difficult portion of your labor for me. My Word comes to earth as human flesh and finds itself rejected in the very heart of the people I have chosen as my own. I have wandered with you for millennia and still you doubt me. I have brought endless miracles to you and still you ask for signs. I have loved you as my own and still you turn away from me. Yet I love you endlessly. I always have since the beginning of time. I always will. I love every portion of you and each of you. There is no place you might go that I do not perceive you for together you are my very Spirit. Rest in me when you are weary. Rest in me when you are anxious. Rest in me when you celebrate and shout for joy. Rest in me always and everywhere.
Jesus says: Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how many times I yearned to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were unwilling!
And we, the people, say: Oh good and loving God, we know that we doubt too often and mourn too long. Each day and in every way we want to return to you. Be patient with us as we flounder. Be strong for us as we waver. Be faithful to us as we stray. Gather us, your children, under your wings as a mother hen gathers her brood; and remain in us forever. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.