So it happened. My wife and I are parents to a teenager. I know, some of you who have been parents for a long time might think “pfft, welcome to the club… you’ll get over it” or some of you who aren’t parents might be like, “whoooooaaaa time flies” and some of you yet might be all, “who is this person and why am I reading this?”
Either case, I can’t believe it’s been 13 years since we were first became parents. I was just looking at pictures the other day and it’s amazing to see how much he’s grown. Like literally, the guy is like 5’4″ or something now. But not just grown, but changed. And not just his voice changing, but his personality, his outlook on life, and how he regards his parents, siblings, friends, and basically anyone around him.
And it isn’t a bad thing, mind you, but it’s just different. We have to parent a bit different. We have to play a bit different. And we certainly have to treat him a bit different. But I hope that through it all he will continue to know and believe that his parents love him, and no late night parties or driving mishaps or inability to get a job would change that (well maybe that last one… we’ll see).
This marathon of birthdays in our family (all 5 of our birthdays land within February to May) is just half over now, and suddenly I wish our kids would stop growing older much like my wife and I have about a decade ago. But as much as things change, the more I see how relatively the same they are. We will always be their parents. They will always be our children. The love that we have for them (however strained from time to time) will always remain to the very end.
Here are the readings for next week:
Luke 19:28-40 (processional gospel)
Luke 23:1-49 (technically the alternate reading but likely what we’ll use next week)
Luke 22:14–23:56 (the actual full version if you want to read it all)
This is a lot of readings, and I don’t usually include them all. This is a special Sunday coming up obviously, and I wanted to give the full breadth of what this Palm/Passion Sunday is about. And while we all might have feeling about this Sunday (if you’ve ever heard any of my sermons on the topic, you’d know that I do too), this time around I see the change that is presented in the people throughout the texts.
Change in their regard of Jesus and others. Change in how they understand God and God’s promises. Change in how they identify and where their allegiance lies.
But in that change comes a gracious Word. In spite of that change we see a steadfast love. Because of that change we can understand just how great and amazing this God is to be so unchanging yet constantly relevant, so powerful but yet so tender, so authoritative but yet so full of grace and peace, allowing us to see this eternal love that is given to us until the very end.
See as much as we and those around us change, God’s love will stay the same. As much as our understanding of life and whatnot changes, God will always welcome us back with grace. As much as our allegiances might be placed in the wrong place (which I would argue is anywhere that isn’t in God), God continues to stretch out a hand of forgiveness, inviting us back into community, and filling our lives with meaning and purpose, just as a parent’s love should be.
Thanks be to God! Have a great week-before-Holy-week, everyone!