Thursday, April 6, 2017

Daily Devotion for Lent 2017 - Day 32, Thursday

Today's Reading: John 16:1-15 (NRSV)

"It is to your advantage that I go away."

It is hard to believe Jesus when he says this today.  How could his absence ever be an advantage?

Of course, he is also talking about sending the Advocate (aka, the Holy Spirit) to us.  If we think about this in the terms of the Trinity, it is like he never left, right?

Okay, maybe it is not quite the same.

This has a feel of growing up to it.  There are certain things that parents do for their children that the kids are better off doing for themselves.

Ducklings imprint on their mother but
they eventually leave the nest!
I recently realized that I was making lunches for my teenagers who were perfectly capable of making their own lunches.  Why was I continuing to do this?  I didn't even think about it until I was frustrated that the younger child didn't eat the sandwich I made and it had to be thrown away.

If I do something for someone else that they are capable of doing for themselves, this can be a generosity.  But if I continue to do it, it may not be appreciated, needed or even helpful.

I think David's first reaction to making his own lunch was, "I'm packing all chips!"

So we get to have a reminder about nutrition but that is helpful for him in the long run.

The bottom line is that I want to raise independent, self-supporting adults.  I think this is the goal of every parent.  The helicopter complex of hovering and doing for our children is based on fear.  I'm afraid for their well-being.  It is also showing a lack of confidence in their abilities.

As adults, we can see how Jesus spiritually wants us to grow up.  As we think about our own maturity, a good litmus test is, "Do we think more about what the church can do for us or do we think more about how our church can be serving others?"

Prayer for the day:

O God, the Redeemer of our souls, and the Comforter of them that mourn, whose will is our peace, and to whom obedience is true freedom; grant me so to be led by Your Holy Spirit, that I may be free from vain hopes and repinings, and from all wrong desires; but may I through patience have experience, and through experience hope, and not be ashamed of hoping in You, our Father and our Friend, whose holy will be done now and for ever.  Amen.

      Rowland Williams, Church of England, 19th Century

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