“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not!" - Matthew 23:37
On November 19, 1863, Edward Everett gave the keynote address at the dedication ceremony for the National Cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. He was quite eloquent as he spoke for two hours. As an afterthought, President Abraham Lincoln was given the opportunity to present a few appropriate remarks. He spoke for two minutes. Those heart felt, passionate, well chosen words have cut into the heart and history of this nation.
Jesus gave lengthy discourses on many occasions. But this short passage for our reading speaks from a broken, grace filled heart. In a few words, the ministry of our Lord to Israel was clearly encapsulated. He came with love and mercy in his words and works, offering a new day to a disparaged nation, but they refused. In the simple analogy of a mother hen gathering her brood Jesus poured out his heart... "you would not!"
It doesn't take two hours to drive home the love of God my friend. Jesus came from heaven to save His people from their sin... and they said "no thanks". How often has the Lord knocked at the door of your heart to save your soul, or guide your steps into a more blessed future and "you would not?" In this simple passage we are reminded that the Lord is coming again for those who say "Blessed is he who comes in the Lord". Will that be you?