3.17.19 Sermon - "The Mother Hen's Work"

We were fortunate to have Rev. Katy Shedlock of Audubon Park United Methodist Church and Creators’ Table as our guest preacher this Sunday morning! Rev. Katy explored scriptural texts which compare God to a “mother hen” who "gathers her brood under her wings.”

“I waste a lot of time and energy worrying about the Herods of this world. They fill me with fear. They make me feel powerless and alone, and cynical about my ability to change anything that really matters, to make a difference. Jesus does not waste any time worrying about Herod, that fox!

Rev. Katy Shedlock of Audubon Park United Methodist Church and Creators’ Table

Rev. Katy Shedlock of Audubon Park United Methodist Church and Creators’ Table

… I ask how God? How can your promises of love and life abundant for all creation be true? And don’t give me some cute covenant ceremony, or some easy line about how the crucification magically fixes it all! I want something more real than that.

But isn’t it the biggest stretch of all to keep doing good in the face of evil? Isn’t it the biggest stretch of all to keep showing up in the body, day after day, week after week, year after year, to teach, to heal, the protect, to shelter, to love, to be the mother hen when you know the foxes are circling? Isn’t it the biggest stretch of all to get involved, to get your hands dirty, to be in relationship with broken, vulnerable human beings when you have no guarantees of the outcomes of your efforts? There is nothing glamorous about the hen’s work. No flashy demonstrations here, just showing up to love, even when it is inconvenient, even when it is unglamorous, even when it is dangerous, even when it might cost you your very life.

I think in particular with gratitude for the many people from this community who do the work of the mother hen on Wednesday nights down at the mission, showing up week after week after week, to sit, to eat, to love, even when it is unglamorous and inconvenient. That’s plenty real to me. That does my tired, weary, cynical heart good. I might even go so far as to say that brings me hope. Friends, may we be people who are too busy being mother hens to get distracted by the foxes. Yes, they are there. May we keep showing up to love anyway.”

Readings: Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18; Psalm 27; Philippians 3:17-4:1; Luke 13:31-35