Friday, March 10, 2006

Lost in the Big City

Okay, let me see if I have this straight. Mom and Dad bring Jesus to a big city, the last ruler of Jerusale killed off all the boys the Jesus' age and younger on the off chance that one of the boys might be Jesus, on the way home they notice Jesus missing. And we're supposed to call this the fifth Joyful Mystery?!? The real mystery here is how we can consider this joyful.

Perhaps our notions of joyful need to change. Although the Scriptures tell us that Jesus, being obedient to the will of his parents, never pulled that stunt again, the final response of the parents is desribed as "his mother treasured all these things in her heart."

We can probably all name quite a few people in our own lives who followed the Lord to the astonishment, bewilderment, and chagrin of their (often apparently devout Christian) parents. Often parents can simultaneously oppose their child's vocation and wield such influence at their Church that the constitutions explicitly refuse missionary support, ordination, or baptism for children (often well over twenty years old and nearing thirty) who seek these things against the will of the parents.

Most people understand that things can "get out of control" and "go wrong". We know about freak accidents and we buy our insurance policies. Nothing astonishing or joyful or remarkable there. But the idea that things can "get out of control" while they "go right" merits our attention. When it comes to our relationship with the Lord, our relationship to our children, and our children's relationship to the Lord, we need not only to know that things can "get out of control" but that this can happen even when and especially when things are "going right". Not only are the Lord's ways not our ways. Not only are his ways above our ways. But his mysterious ways are very good for us and worth "treasuring in our heart".

Perhaps when we treasure in our hearts the times when the Lord's ways are out of our control, we will trust that the King of Kings and Lord of Lords is taking very good care of us. A joyful mystery indeed.

1 comment:

Dave King said...

Peterson points out that parents need to respect their kids calling based on this passage in 'Like Dew Your Youth'.

- Peace