Day 35 – Stuff Happens
On: December 5, 2014   |   By: admin   |   Under: Blog   |   Comments: Comments are off

“When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, ‘Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.’ ‘Why were you searching for me?’ he asked. ‘Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?’ But they did not understand what he was saying to them. Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.” [Luke 2:48-52]

In many ways this is a classic scenario. Reminds me of my first day at big school in Portsmouth, 5 miles from where we lived. I went there with a couple of friends from Primary School. Our mums came down to meet us. “See you at the bus stop” said mum as she chatted at the school gate. We scarpered the few hundred yards to the bus stop, got on the bus home and were there waiting at the bus stop at the top of our road. Didn’t even occur to us that the intended bus stop was at the other end of the journey. Imagine the state of the frantic mothers who climbed off the bus to discover their nonchalant boys skylarking on the pavement. Mum died some years ago, but I still feel the need to say sorry one more time!

It’s such a human story. Jesus was caught up in debate and lost track of time – big time. He must have been concerned at where his family was after three days. Where did he eat and sleep? His parents must have been doing some talking themselves not to notice their son’s absence for three days. Didn’t they do a head count at the end of each day? Seems strange, but so, in retrospect, did the bus journey with my pals. Stuff happens, and responsibility is often spread amongst the protagonists. The challenge is to resist the urge to attribute blame. Rather, allowing love to rule, forgive each other with a smile and move on. That’s the heart of the good news that Jesus brought to Earth. It flows from its source, at the cross, right down to the school gate. John 13:34  sums it up: “A new command I give you,” said Jesus. “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”

Note: this is a command, not a suggestion. Imperative, not just good practice. Ouch.

And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature and in favour with God and man

Prayer:

God, give me grace to accept with serenity

the things that cannot be changed,

Courage to change the things

which should be changed,

and Wisdom to distinguish

the one from the other.

Living one day at a time,

Enjoying one moment at a time,

Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,

Taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is,

Not as I would have it,

Trusting that You will make all things right,

If I surrender to Your will,

So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,

And supremely happy with You forever in the next.

Amen.

Attributed to Niebuhr

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