We were sitting there during the usual Sunday church service, and one of our ministers went up front for the children’s sermon. He started talking about how God can be like a mother (It was Mother’s Day) and talked to the kids about how Jesus said in Matthew 23 in his lament over Jerusalem: “How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings…”
Well, it seems very few of the kids in our small city church ever spent time on a farm, and they really had little idea what he was talking about. So here he brought out a box with several baby chicks; you could hear them peep-peeping all over the church, for the kids to look at. They had a wonderful opportunity to see how cute and helpless the chicks are, and how they would have to be protected by their mother. It was a good picture of what Jesus was talking about.
The pastor said the kids could stay up in the front of the church and watch the chicks during the regular sermon, and the preaching pastor said that was fine, that he didn’t mind the peeping and children’s giggling during the sermon. It made for a neat quiet time as he preached, a sound that is so rarely heard in the city nowadays, but was familiar to many 50-60 years ago.
(Of course, on Mother’s Day they never got around to the part of the passage where Jesus says, “…and you would not! See, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'”) (Matthew 23:37-39 ESV)