I can’t imagine not being a dad. It is as a famous athlete once said:
When you have kids you do grow up. I have just started realizing it now—it changes the world, having children.
As a parent, I can better empathize with other parents. I can feel the pain Joseph and Mary go through in Luke 2:41-52. How can a parent not be frightened by the thought of their child gone missing?
Panicked, Joseph and Mary retraced their steps. They asked anyone and everyone, “Have you seen my child? Our son is missing.”
Day and night, they search everywhere in the city. Until after days of fear and trepidation, they find him. He is safe, without a worry in the world.
I understand Mary’s maternal frustration:
“Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.”
If this were my child, I too would be a bundle of conflicting emotions.
This passage is the essence of parenthood. Mary and Joseph spent the past 12 years loving and raising Jesus. The full spectrum of emotion they experienced stem from their love of their child.
As parents, we’ve shed our own blood, sweat and tears to raise our own children. But our influence is just part of the picture.
While it wasn’t immediately apparent to Joseph and Mary, God the Father played a vital role in shaping Jesus’ identity. Jesus could not be the person in Luke 2 unless both earthly and divine parents held strong influences.
Luke’s gospel, in fact, provides a different angle to an important faith principle I presented last week.
Last week, we learned that God’s will is done not just by God alone. You and I must do our part as well.
This week, we learn that our will is blessed only when God plays a role in it. We can be the best parents or leaders or achievers in this world. But without God’s influence, our plans and intentions and achievements do not matter.
Now I’m not saying that one is more important than the other. But when we look at the examples presented, great things can be only done when humanity’s will aligns with God’s.