Tag Archives: safety

Holding it Together

Stephen Cottrell points us to a further scripture:

God’s Son was before all else, and by him everything is held together. (Colossians 1:17)

Whatever happens, there is always someone who has to hold things together, someone who sees the whole picture.  Others may do plenty to help, but it needs that one person encircling it all.  Here that is quite clearly shown to be Jesus.

However much I think I’m doing in my life, however much I think I am doing in the world, I play just a part – God is the one holding it all together.

Cottrell reminds us that,

The Christian faith is a promise of restoration: a time when all the scattered fragments of our lives are gathered into a place of safety and refuge (p82)

He also goes on to point out that this is also a present reality.  God in Jesus cares for us and protects us, watches out for us and longs to gather us, as the hen gathers her chicks.

Am I going to let God wrap his arms around me, hold me safely and allow him to hold everything together?

These thoughts are reflecting on Stanley Spencer’s painting The Hen (seen here).

This year for Lent, I am reading Christ in the Wilderness by Bishop Stephen Cottrell, published by SPCK, reflecting on Stanley Spencer’s paintings of that title.

I’m not necessarily going to blog every day on it, just when something leaps out at me – and they will be thoughts rather than full blog posts

The Hen

Immediately I saw this one of Stanley Spencer’s paintings, I thought of these words of Jesus:

37 Jerusalem, Jerusalem! Your people have killed the prophets and have stoned the messengers who were sent to you. I have often wanted to gather your people, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings. But you wouldn’t let me. (Matthew 23:37)

Jesus longs to gather the people as a hen gathers her chicks, and they won’t let him.

Here we have Jesus gathering the hen itself.

It looks as though with his body he has built a wall around them – a defence, a shelter, a safe place.  A couple of the chicks are happily exploring, safe in his protection.  One is trying out its wings, seeing if it can fly.  Such is the protection Jesus gives us.  It is not suffocating and stifling – but it would keep one of those foxes away!

There are other hens wandering the wilderness, but this one has chosen to stay within Jesus’ surrounding arms.

mother hen

I’ll go on to see what Stephen Cottrell has to say.

These thoughts are reflecting on Stanley Spencer’s painting The Hen (seen here).

This year for Lent, I am reading Christ in the Wilderness by Bishop Stephen Cottrell, published by SPCK, reflecting on Stanley Spencer’s paintings of that title.

I’m not necessarily going to blog every day on it, just when something leaps out at me – and they will be thoughts rather than full blog posts

Mother Hen

I guess we all want to be safe.  To know that there is somewhere we can be secure, and free from harm.  To know that there is someone we can trust to keep us safe.  A haven of shelter and refuge.

Luke 13:31-35

Jesus and Herod

31 At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said, “You had better get away from here! Herod wants to kill you.”

32 Jesus said to them:

Go tell that fox, “I am going to force out demons and heal people today and tomorrow, and three days later I’ll be through.” 33 But I am going on my way today and tomorrow and the next day. After all, Jerusalem is the place where prophets are killed.

Jesus Loves Jerusalem

34 Jerusalem, Jerusalem! Your people have killed the prophets and have stoned the messengers who were sent to you. I have often wanted to gather your people, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings. But you wouldn’t let me. 35 Now your temple will be deserted. You won’t see me again until the time when you say,

“Blessed is the one who comes
in the name of the Lord.”

mother hen

A hen gathers her chicks under her wings for safety.  There they are safe from harm and danger.  Close where she can shield them from danger and watch over them.

Jesus knows there is danger coming.  That there are those who wants rid of him.  But his response still is to care for those who need him, those who don’t understand, those who haven’t listened.

Jesus wants to gather the people to himself – but they won’t let him.  He wanted to offer them safety and security, but they thought they knew better and rejected his peace and security.

What a wonderful picture it is of God wanting to gather us safe under his wings.  I can live with that idea of God.  To know that in him there is safety and security from the storms of life.  In him is someone I can always turn to and know there will be shelter and warmth.  God wants to hold us that close.

Do we let him?  Or do we want to run away?  To find our own ways of protection?

Will I find the safety and security I long for in the arms of God, sheltering under his wing?

Lord,

I need peace

and safety.

Thank you

that Jesus longs to gather us

as a hen gather her chicks

in the safety of her wing.

I come to you,

ready to be surrounded by your arms

of security and love,

and there I rest