“How many times I yearned to gather your children together”

Imagine God with so many children, and so many of them at each others’ throats. He yearns for all of them to be one family, but they are not. In Luke 13: 34-35, Jesus is approached by some Pharisees who warn him that Herod wants to kill him. He rebukes them, saying in part:

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem,
you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you,
how many times I yearned to gather your children together
as a hen gathers her brood under her wings,
but you were unwilling!
Behold, your house will be abandoned.
But I tell you, you will not see me until the time comes when you say,
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.”

We who call ourselves Christians are God’s many children. Yet we divide ourselves by our rigid dogmas and our rules. We yell at each other and call each other names and, yes, sometimes we kill each other. We become those who “kill the prophets” and “stone those sent to you.” When will you see it?

If we believe in Christ as our savior, whether we be Catholic or Protestant, whether we be Baptist or Presbyterian or Quaker – whatever denomination we declare ourselves – are we not Christians? If we embrace the Gospel, are we not Christians? Yet we fight as if “the others” were enemies. We are all one family in Christ.

Jesus’ message was to the Pharisees but it is also to us. You will not see him until you embrace all his children as your brothers and sisters, when you literally say, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” Mark his words.

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