Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Gentle Jesus

Isaiah 40:11 (New International Version)

11 He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young.

Gentle Jesus, meek and mild,
Look upon a little child,
Pity my simplicity,
Suffer me to come to thee.

Our children, Peter and Brenda, used to pray this first verse of a hymn by Charles Wesley every night when they were small, followed by a prayer for God to bless a whole string of relatives and probably a few pets. The words may seem to some to connote weakness, but having grown up with them and similar descriptions of Jesus in other hymns, I never saw them that way.

The words came to mind this morning as I read the lovely verse from Isaiah and reflected on the gentleness of God expressed through his son, Jesus. The world can be harsh, unkind and cruel, but in Christ, the simplest, most unsophisticated soul can find a place of acceptance, refuge and welcome. I know--I have found it.

1 Kings 3:7 & 9 (New Living Translation)

7..., but I am like a little child who doesn’t know his way around...
9 Give me an understanding heart so that I can govern your people well and know the difference between right and wrong.

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