"Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing- Matthew 22;37
Just a quick prayer of thanksgiving and confession for Mothers day this week.
I've taken some time to use feminine images of God from the scripture.
God All sufficient is one possible translation of El shaddai and is a more feminine image of God, one possible origin for El Shaddai is the God who has breasts being able to feed her children, rather than the more common and masculine God almighty... God of the mountains.
carrying on from that "in whom we live and move and have our being" is from Acts, and can be seen as giving a picture of a child in the womb. Hosea 11: 3-4 gives a picture of God teaching Ephraim to walk.
Jesus uses the image of the widow seeking a precious lost coin in Luke 15, a parable alongside the parable of the lost sheep and the prodigal son. Jesus voices his love and desire for that city and his people in terms of a mother hen wanting to gather her chicks beneath her wings. using her body to shield them from harm.... what a great picture of Christ's death on the cross... this is my body broken for you.
I've used the picture of the mother eagle in Deuteronomy 32 teaching its chicks to fly to look at the work of the Holy Spirit in bringing us to maturity in Christ. if you read in the book of Acts you see a reoccurring pattern of the church getting comfortable and stepping away from its prime mission and then the Holy Spirit stirring things up again and the church moving on in its mission and maturity.
The opening line of the last bit comes from Psalm 123:2-3 and is the second half of the male female servants looking to the hand of their masters(both male and female) as an illustration of our being Attentive to do the will of God.
God all sufficient,
In whom, we live and move and have our being
You made us, created us male and female in your likeness
You look after us and care, nurture, heal and guide
You comfort us in our sorrows, help us to stand and walk with you
Jesus Christ our loving saviour
Like a widow seeking a precious coin, you came to seek the lost
like a mother hen draws its chicks beneath its wings
You came to draw us all back to know God’s great love
You lived, and died and rose again to make us God’s children
Holy Spirit, comforter and Guide
You fill us with strength and light; Christ abides in us
Like a mother eagle you ruffle our comfortable nests
To make us step out and trust ourselves upon your wind
You swoop and catch us when we fall
As a maid looks to her mistress’ hand, we look to you
We come this morning to give you praise
We ask you to forgive wrong done and good left undone
Restore us to yourself and fill us afresh with spirit breath
That we may live and love to your glory all our life