In the past 10ish months since my dad died, I saw two very powerful movies that had themes around saying goodbye to a father. Surprisingly enough (or perhaps not surprisingly), they were both Marvel movies: Thor: Ragnarok and Black Panther. In both these movies the titular characters lost their fathers, fathers who had power, influence, and of course played a huge role in who these characters grew up to be (one was the king of the fictional country Wakanda, and the other was the king of the fictional planet Asgard and also brought peace to the 9 realms which quite frankly is an amazing feat as the 9 realms is basically the entire habitable universe).
And this made me think of my dad, and my kids. I thought of my dad and how his life inspired mine both positively and negatively. And how I am now living my life hoping to inspire my own kids. How can I be sure that I can properly raise my kids in my limited time with them? How can I be sure that they’ll be ok once I’m gone? Is there anything I could do to ensure that they will be strong enough to live on without their dad?
Well, I don’t expect them to save the world a few times over like those Marvel heroes, but I would like to at least keep them out of jail.
Here we have Jesus saying goodbye to his disciples and also the aftermath of Jesus’ departure. Saying goodbye isn’t an easy thing, I sometimes get choked up when I leave my kids for the work day. And I have a feeling that when Jesus was saying goodbye, his disciples didn’t really get what was going on.
But they do soon enough.
Imagine as the disciples watched as their friend and mentor was arrested, unjustly tried, beaten, and then crucified. Imagine the pain and sorrow they must have felt. And then a couple days later, rumours of him being alive again? What a mindjob. What does this mean? What is to be done with this resurrection? What change is about to take place in light of all this?
We see in the aftermath of Jesus’ teaching, death, and resurrection, that love is what it all means. Love is what the point of the resurrection is. Our hearts are changed because of it.
I will rest easy knowing that my kids know love. It doesn’t have to be love from their dad (as I know I can really annoy the heck out of them), but love in general that they can be confident in the skin they were born in and realise that they have value and worth even when they don’t always feel it. This was the goal of the fathers in those Marvel movies, and by Jesus’ words I think that was his goal as well. And to reach that goal is through example.
Love one another as God has loved you. It doesn’t exactly sound easy all the time, but it sure does make sense.
Have a great week, everyone.