Friday, December 19, 2008

Parental paparazzi

Today’s Reading: John 18:19-21(NIV)

19 Meanwhile, the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. 20 “I have spoken openly to the world,” Jesus replied. I always taught in synagogues or at the temple, where all the Jews come together. I said nothing in secret. 21 Why questions me? Ask those who heard me. Surely they know what I said.”

Good morning!

The parking lot was nearly full when we arrived last night at the Holy Child Elementary School for their annual Christmas program. Icy rain had been falling and the parking lot was slick. We skated into the school’s gymnasium, where hundreds of children were seated, dressed in holiday attire, awaiting their turn on the center stage risers. There were so many people in the gymnasium that all of the seats had been taken. What a turnout on such a cold winter’s night! The children sang their songs and spoke their carefully memorized words to the delight of everyone. Parents and grandparents swarmed the front stage with video cameras, snapping pictures and waving to their wee ones on center stage. This was a memory in the making, and something I will not forget.

They sang carols about the baby Jesus with such a great passion! There was no doubt that they knew the One whom they were singing about. He is the star of the night, and the children knew it! Christ’s joy became the children’s joy, and the presence of the Lord filled the entire auditorium. In one memorable moment, peace on earth had come.

Author James W. Moore published a book entitled, If God Has A Refrigerator, Your Picture Is On It. I believe that we, as parents and grandparents, mirror the image of our parental paparazzi. He loves all His children so much that He keeps our mirrored images mounted before Him all over the walls of heaven. There can be no other explanation for the perfect and holy love in the willing sacrifice of Jesus Christ for the sins of the world. Can you picture His love for you?

That night in the garden, Jesus’ mother Mary waited in trembling and fear. How would she ever be able to let go of the Son she bore at the Father’s request? She wondered why the people could not see Him for who He truly is. This man was the baby she nursed, the child she raised; He was the One she followed. She knew He was the Son of the living God, who came to set the people free from sin and death forever. The only picture taken in the garden was that of a heartbroken mother.

The little children smiled for the cameras. Lights were flashing all over the auditorium, and as the parents took their treasured photographs, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit came and snapped a few everlasting pictures Himself.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO


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