There’s something about a mother’s hug. I don’t know what it is, but mom’s hugs can cure all sorts of problems. Fights with siblings, stubbed toes, sore tummies, bad dreams—mom’s hugs fix them all. And it’s not just limited to mom’s hugs, of course. Dad’s hugs, or grandma’s hugs or a friend’s hugs help. What is it about them? Is it the physical contact? Is it the emotional connection and the love that a hug seems to imply? Is it just that someone cares and wants to show that love and concern? Yes, I think we’d agree.

You see, we need to feel safe. We need to have security in our life. Our bodies need to be safe. Hugs help us feel safe. And our souls need to be safe. When our souls are safe, when the essence of our humanity feels at peace that radiates out into our whole life. And there is a lot that tries to take away that safety from our souls: from an unbelieving world, to a heart corrupted with sin, to our own guilty consciences.

So Christ gathers us up. He brings us to himself. He gives us safety. John the Baptist says about Jesus, "[He will] gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire." Luke 3:17

Chaff is the unusable portion of grain. It gets thrown away. Here is comfort for the believer! Evil, wickedness and all the forces of Satan will be thrown away forever. Jesus Christ destroyed all of that on the cross when he died and proclaimed that victory when he rose from the dead. 

And you and I who have placed our hope in Jesus, we will be gathered up forever. Safe!