Celebrating, Caring, Community

Bible Verse of the Day

Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

CHICKENS

I was intrigued with recent Chatham-Kent Council deliberations about the ‘urban chicken’. Concerns about loud roosters, rodents eating chicken feed, containment, and spreading disease made for ample debate.

Chickens, or any bird for that matter, give me jitters. They threaten my comfort zone. As a child my fear, my flee or kill response, would reach hysterical levels. Over time I identified these as being symptoms of a bird phobia. I’m not alone in having this, and I can’t explain its cause.

As an adult I walked through a barn filled with young chickens, and I don’t mind ducks around my feet. I still do NOT like touching any bird, dead or alive. However, I DO like my chicken – fried, broasted, or barbequed (!).

Enough about me. Do you know that God likens Himself to a chicken? – a mother hen to be exact. Jesus stated, “How often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings.” (Matthew 23:37) He was speaking to His people – the Jews.

A mother, with her nurturing qualities, likes her ‘brood’ home together – especially for traditional celebrations. For some, distance makes frequent visits difficult. Sadly, some grown children get so caught up with life that ‘distance’ is not necessarily geographical.

“As a hen gathers her chicks under her wings” speaks of ongoing concern for their safety. It’s about protection, provision, and togetherness. It’s about loving, and being loved.

I’ve heard the cry, “How often I have longed to gather (!).” It’s the mom (or dad) in the nursing home longing for their neglectful children. Family dynamics can separate. Addictions cause ‘distance’. Busyness can deprive one of love. I hear their heart’s longing in their voice.

We often take others ‘under our wing’ to guide or mentor, to protect, to provide – to help them along. While Jesus longed to take His people under His wing, He noted their response, “You were not willing.” He mourned over Jerusalem’s unfaithfulness and impending ruin.

His longing extends to us: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” He longs to free us from being ruined by sin by giving forgiveness and the gift of eternal life. He longs to help us with our daily fears, challenges, and struggles. We need Jesus.

The Psalmist affirms, “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge.” (91:1, 4)

I learned of Jesus’ longing for ME. I submitted to Him as my Saviour – for salvation from sin and eternal death. He took me under His wing; I live feeling secure. His faithful promise to me is, “I GOT YOU COVERED!”

“Are you with me?”
Pastor Bill Terris