Most days I find something that I can treasure about life, but this week is especially significant for me and part of that is because of my faith. I don’t mean the faith that actively engages in the mystery of trust, but rather the practical side of a man being human and walking among humanity–Jesus.
You know what I find particularly fascinating? In order for Jesus to become a man, Jesus had to first be a teenager.
Did they call them “teenagers” a couple thousand years ago? Hmmm…someone google-that and let me know, ok? Thanks.
All this blogging, thinking and teaching about teenagers while approaching Holy Week has me thinking about young Jesus, left on his own, in a strange village, his parents returning home, only to discover him missing after two days…
Are you familiar with this story?
Being a parent is hard work and the training for it is literally “on the job” — there are no pause buttons. There are no “do overs” regardless of how many children you have, which can be quite frustrating at times. Each child we have is a unique expression of God’s image and each has something to teach us.
So how did these parents forget their child, the son of God, the one about whom dreams had warned of soldiers and certain death?!?
Did God forget them as parents now, in these critical teenage years?
When we look at Mary and Joseph’s parenting and time they lived in, two things seem to stand out:
- they lived in community
- they trusted their son.
You might be asking, so what does this have to do with Holy Week?? Nothing specifically in regards to that final week, but I believe that part of how Jesus was raised empowered him in these final days to walk boldly, even into certain death.
See, from an early age Mary and Joseph taught Jesus to know and trust living in community. Do our kids know the importance of others in their lives? Are we modeling community in how we live and engage with others in life’s struggles? Do we ask for help?
Which triggers a second noteworthy point–they trusted their son.
I remember many hard conversations when my daughters were teenagers about choices being made and also my choice–will I trust my child? What is good within, in spite of what I know to be the risks?
This does not mean throw in the towel, no rules, free for all! Instead, it’s a risk knowing that they have to learn to make decisions. I’ll tell you right now that some will be good, and other choices will require us to return to find them.
Joseph and Mary recognized Jesus was missing and returned to find him. I kind of wonder what that conversation was like between mom and dad on the return trip. After all it was the Son of God that was missing!
They returned and they found him in the temple, having a blast, doing what he was created to do — coming to and being amongst the people.
I wonder, did they see his future in those moments? Could they feel the tension of what was yet to come for this young man?
Maybe so. And all the more reason why they needed to bring him home, to continue nurturing and training him towards being a man. Because one day he would walk a road where all of humanity would need to trust that he did indeed, see them.
May you notice Holy Week as an invitation to walk in the reality of God with us…
especially when parenting teenagers.