Week of Proper 25: Thursday, Year 1   11 comments

Above:  A Rooster and a Hen

Image Source = Andrei Niemimaki

Jesus, Our Mother Hen

NOVEMBER 2, 2017

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Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), of The Episcopal Church, contains an adapted two-years weekday lectionary for the Epiphany and Ordinary Time seasons from the Anglican Church of Canada.  I invite you to follow it with me.

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Romans 8:31-39 (Revised English Bible):

With this in mind, what are we to say?  If God is on our side, who is against us?  He did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all; how can he fail to lavish every other gift upon us?  Who will bring a charge against those whom God has chosen?  Not God, who acquits!  Who will pronounce judgement?  Not Christ, who died, or rather rose again; not Christ, who is at God’s right hand and pleads our cause!  Then what can separate us from the love of Christ?  Can persecution, hunger, nakedness, danger, or sword?

We are being done to death for your sake all day long,

as scripture says;

we have been treated like sheep for slaughter

–and yet, throughout it all, overwhelming victory is ours through him who loved us.  For I am convinced that there is nothing in death or life, in the realm of spirits or superhuman powers, in the world as it is or the world as it shall be, in the forces of the universe, in heights or depths–nothing in all creation that can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Psalm 30 (1979 Book of Common Prayer):

I will exalt you, O LORD,

because you have lifted me up

and have not let my enemies triumph over me.

O LORD my God, I cried out to you,

and you restored me to health.

You brought me up, O LORD, from the dead;

you restored my life as I was going down to the grave.

Sing to the LORD, you servants of his;

give thanks for the remembrance of his holiness.

For his wrath endures but the twinkling of an eye,

his favor for a lifetime.

6 Weeping may spend the night,

but joy comes in the morning.

While I felt secure, I said,

“I shall never be disturbed.

You,  LORD, with your favor, made me as strong as the mountains.”

Then you hid my face,

and I was filled with terror.

I cried to you, O LORD;

I pleaded with the LORD, saying,

10  “What profit is there in my blood, if I go down to the Pit?

will the dust praise you or declare your faithfulness?

11  Hear, O LORD, and have mercy upon me;

O LORD, be my helper.”

12  You have turned my wailing into dancing;

you have put off my sack-cloth and clothed me with joy.

13  Therefore my heart sings to you without ceasing;

O LORD my God, I will give you thanks for ever.

Luke 13:31-35 (Revised English Bible):

At that time a number of  Pharisees came and warned him [Jesus],

Leave this place and be on your way; Herod wants to kill you.

He replied,

Go and tell that fox, “Listen:  today and tomorrow I shall be driving out demons and working cures; However, I must go on my way today and tomorrow and the next day, because it is unthinkable for a prophet to meet his death anywhere but in Jerusalem.”

[He continued,]

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, city that murders the prophets and stones the messengers sent to her!  How often have I longed to gather your children, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings; but you would not let me.  Look!  There is your temple, forsaken by God.  I tell you, you will not see me until the time comes when you say, “Blessings on him who comes in the name of the Lord!”

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The Collect:

Almighty and everlasting God, increase in us the gifts of faith, hope, and charity; and, that we may obtain what you promise, make us love what you command; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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The passage from Romans builds on what precedes it:  God’s justification of us and our adoption into the family of God.  Therefore the lack of condemnation makes sense, for God has removed condemnation.

Yet we need to remember that not everybody belongs to this category.  Certainly Herod Antipas, a duplicitous man and a Roman puppet, was not among the justified.  He wanted to kill Jesus, after all.  By their fruits you shall know them.  Yet Jesus went on to die for all, including the same Herod Antipas.   And the love of God extended to all, even Herod Antipas.

Nothing can separate us from the love of God, but the same love does not immunize us from the consequences of our actions.  Jesus is our mother hen, according to the analogy from Luke 13.  May we be good eggs.  May we rejoice God’s heart by responding affirmatively to grace.

It is the least we can do.

KRT

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