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Mother hen

Jesus - mother hen.

Something to read

Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!

- Matthew 23:37 (from full reading Matthew 23:29-39).

Something to think about

Jesus’s lament over Jerusalem speaks to us of his character, his heart. We can imagine the tears in his eyes as he speaks with sorrow of the city.

He longs to mother the children of Jerusalem, to enfold them, to protect them. 

This is the love that Jesus offers the world. A world so often torn apart by violence and conflict. In all our brokenness, he yearns to be the mother hen.

Today it is not hard to imagine Jesus weeping still for all the people of Jerusalem. The division that characterises that city must break his heart all over again.

Who are the prophets of peace today? Can their voices be heard? Can we join them in calling for an end to violence and discrimination?

The phrase ‘you were not willing’ is striking. An angry and upset child will often stubbornly resist their mother’s loving embrace.

Jesus’s desire is that our broken world be gathered under his wings, how long will we resist his loving embrace?

As we remember how Jesus wept over Jerusalem, let us pray for all the people of the Middle East. 

Something to do

Learn about Christian Aid’s work in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory

Something to pray

Jesus, our mother hen, gather your broken world under your wings. Protect us and enfold us in your love.

We pray for an end to conflict in Jerusalem and the Middle East. Bless the work of Christian Aid as they seek to be peacemakers there. 


Today’s contributor is Tim Burdon, Christian Aid’s Regional Coordinator for County Durham and Redcar and Cleveland at the time of writing.