I am going to read you a story.  Yes, it’s a children’s story, one by Beatrix Potter, and I’m not reading it because I failed to write a sermon yesterday, but because it has something to do with our Gospel reading just now.  Listen hard, because when I get to the end, I’m going to ask you to make the connections. 


Beatrix Potter, The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck


So what did the story have to do with the Gospel reading?  Did you notice any characters that appear in both stories?

  • Fox
  • Mother hen


What kind of a person was the fox?

What kind of a person was the mother hen?

What kind of a person was Jemima?


So when Jesus says that Herod was like a fox, what was he saying about him? 


And when Jesus says that he is like a mother hen, what is he saying about about himself? 

Have you ever kept hens?  What can you tell me about mother hens?

  • Good mothers
  • Can be fierce with anyone seen as a threat
  • Protective, even when it means sacrificing themselves for the chicks

This is an important image, as Jesus uses a feminine image to describe himself.

How do you think Jesus feels about us?


So who are you in the farmyard?

Are you the fox wanting to eat the chickens and the ducks?

Are you Jemima Puddle-Duck, who is very naïve and doesn’t have much insight into her own character?

Are you the dogs, who manage to kill the fox and save Jemima, but also manage to eat the eggs?

Are you a chick rushing to Jesus the mother hen, so that he can protect you under his wings?


And when we run to Jesus and say, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” then he will stretch out and gather us in.  And all shall be well.  All manner of things shall be well.Image