One of the joys in our workplace is that we have colleagues at different stages in life. This results in more than casual “water cooler” conversation. Often the stories are fun and helpful. Discuss rural immersion:
So it is with mother/grandmother Sonia and relatively new mother Julie. Sonia’s three sons are 39, 37 and 33 (and her eight grandchildren range in age from 12 to almost 6 months). Julie’s children are 4, 1 and 1 (16-month old twins).
When Luke 13:31-35 came up as an e-newsletter lectionary text, both of us were drawn to the image of Jesus as mother hen. It’s no wonder, we delight in telling “mothering stories.”
Occasionally the mothering stories include some wisdom from Sonia regarding what is yet to come for Julie. As in, “Your kids will likely say they hate you, you know.” At least that’s what we talked about when discussing this text, which shows Jesus caring deeply about a Jerusalem that has killed its prophets and is threatening to kill him. Still, Jesus loves the city as a mother hen loves and gathers her chicks in to protect them.
For Sonia, this image of a hen gathering chicks brought to mind a vivid (albeit old) memory of one son saying in a fit of anger, “I hate you!” And her response, “Yes, you probably are angry at me right now and feel like you hate me. But I love you very much.”
For Julie, this was not good news.
But, alas, a very real possibility.
But back to this wonderful text: a hen gathering chicks. That’s what Jesus does for us. When we lash out, misbehave, even say hateful things to those we love most, God — the most loving parent imaginable — hugs, forgives and loves. Jesus keeps on loving and gathering us in — despite our rejection, anger and times of going our own way.
That is more than water-cooler wisdom. It’s good news for our children and grandchildren. It’s good news for all of us.
This week's front page features:
This week on our blog:
Join Gretchen Ritola (right), a pastor in the Nebraska Synod who serves two congregations in Emerson. She's also on the rural ministry committee for the immersion experience that the synod helps the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago offer its students.
The conversation begins today and runs through March 6.
Consider reading "City pastor, country pastor
" before joining in.Join the discussion > > >
Use our Web site? Take our survey
Amber Leberman blogs about online publishing.
Julie Sevig (right), celebrating her 50th birthday, writes about attending an Oprah taping.
Sonia Solomonson blogs about designer children and other complexities.Check out our blog > > >
Tell us! Putting your faith on the line:
Do you use The Lutheran
's Web site?
We'd like to know more about who you are, how you use our site and how we can improve the experience for you.
You can also tell us about your other favorite religion Web sites, and let us know what other features you'd like to see at www.thelutheran.org
Take our survey > > >
Subscribe to The Lutheran magazine:
What kind of courage does it take for you to live out your faith in your workplace?
you have a story to tell about living your faith — gasp, even sharing
your faith — in a setting where it’s out of the ordinary, share it with
readers of The Lutheran
Send 300-500 words by March 31 to Julie Sevig
, The Lutheran
, 8765 W. Higgins Rd., Chicago, IL 60631-4101.Members: Respond online > > >
Did you know:
An individual subscription to The Lutheran
magazine is only $15.95 a year and includes a Web Premium membership at no additional cost.
For only $15.95 you'll receive 12 issues of The Lutheran
magazine in your mailbox. You'll also receive access to back issues'
articles since 1996 and unlimited study guide downloads (regularly
$3.50 each) at www.thelutheran.org
subscriptions begin at $7.95 and include Web Standard memberships. Call
Augsburg Fortress, Publishers, for details about our congregational
This is an Associated Church Press award-winning e-newsletter.