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  • Pastoral Staff

I Longed to Gather You

When Janet and I were first married my aunt and uncle gave us six white Plymouth Rock hens and a while later we acquired a Rhode Island Red rooster. One of the hens went broody and I fixed a little pen where she could hatch a few eggs. Three weeks later she hatched four chicks. One night while we were visiting family, a rain storm went through and it was dark when we got home. When I went out to check on the chickens I found that the pen where the hen and chicks were had been flooded. In the light cast by the flash light I saw the bodies of three drowned chicks. However, when I shined the light on the hen, I saw the head of one little chick poke out from under her wing. One chick had survived.

In my imagination, I saw the rain pouring down and the water running through the pen and the chicks panicking. In the midst of the storm, the hen must have called the chicks to her where she could protect them. One of the chicks had responded and, perched on its mother, had survived the flood. I wished I had been there when the storm was brewing and maybe I could have helped the hen save the other chicks.

In Matthew 23:37 Jesus laments over Jerusalem saying, “how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.” I wonder how many times Jesus looks over our city and says, “Winfield, Winfield, how often I have longed to gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.” Folks, a storm is coming. It is called judgement day. Each of us will stand before God and give an account of how we have lived our lives. Those who have repented of their sins and live in obedience to Christ will be taken to heaven to live forever with Him where there is no more tears and pain. Where there is eternal peace and joy. Those who have not repented of their sins and live in disobedience to Christ will be forever in hell where there is weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. Christ calls us to be His witnesses to share His call to those in our community, those in our neighborhoods, those in our workplaces, those in our classes, to let them know the Savior of the world is not willing that any should perish, but that all should repent, go to Him, and rest under His wings and be saved from the storm to come.

As you go through the coming days look for opportunities to share the love of Christ with others. God is calling each of us to share the Good News. In Isaiah 6:8 the prophet hears the call of the Lord, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” May we be like Isaiah and answer, “Here am I. Send me!”

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