Reading: Luke 13:31-35
My Aunt & Uncle have a farm, and at one stage they had chickens in their orchard. During the day the chickens would roam free, but come dusk, they had to bring the chickens into the coup to keep them protected from foxes. But even then, on occasion a fox did occasionally manage to somehow get into the coup and cause devastation.
In today’s passage from Luke, Jesus has been approached by some Pharisees, warned that Herod wants Jesus dead. Jesus responds by saying king Herod is like a destructive fox, contrasted with his own desire to draw all those he cares for under his wings like a hen does with her young chicks.
There were no modern-day chicken coups in Jesus’ day, and while owners of chickens may have developed some protection from foxes and other predators, the hen’s role of protecting chicks would be an exposed and vulnerable one.
That is the role Jesus longs to play for us. Jesus went on to Jerusalem as succumbed to the most horrendous and tortuous walk to Calvary, the place of his public crucifixion. Jesus spread his arms of love on that cross and we believe that through his sacrifice and resurrection 3 days later, we find forgiveness, acceptance and love beyond measure.
Jesus longs to protect us from the evil that wants to destroy the hope in our lives. The evil that says we are not worthy. The foxes that distract us from his immeasurable love. The Pharisees were not willing to receive his protection – not willing to trust in Jesus. Are you?
Follow up: Spend some time in prayer this week.
Ask Jesus to help you to see the evils around you which threaten your relationship with him, and nestle into Jesus’ wings of love.
Today’s reflection is also available in Worshipping Together, a monthly worship at home resource.