5 Now God did not subject the coming world, about which we are speaking, to angels. 6 But someone has testified somewhere,
“What are human beings that you are mindful of them, or mortals, that you care for them?
7 You have made them for a little while lower than the angels;
you have crowned them with glory and honor, subjecting all things under their feet.”
Now in subjecting all things to them, God left nothing outside their control. As it is, we do not yet see everything in subjection to them, 9 but we do see Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
Martin Luther taught (and I am paraphrasing) that God is so mysterious and incomprehensible to us as human beings that there is no way that we could reach up to God through our own efforts…this is why God came to us in the only way that we could understand…through the cross!
However, before the cross there was just Jesus, a simple man, son of a carpenter who took up his father’s trade and made a life for himself as a worker among workers, and as a member of the community.
Through Jesus God not only lived with us, but as ONE of us, he knew the pain, work and joys of living an ordinary life; and Jesus enjoyed life, from the Wedding at Cana to sharing meals with the multitude that came to hear him preach, all the way to the Last Supper, and the gatherings that took place after his resurrection…Jesus loved to socialize with others, and share meals with those he loved.
Some of our best times, the times when we bond the most with our children are over meals…even if it is just a few minutes of munching fast food on the way to swim practice or a soccer game – it is a time that brings us together, and breaks down any barriers that stress, misunderstandings, or just plain being tired have put up between us.
Sharing a meal and conversation together…even in the car or in front of the TV can help to bring us closer together as stop for a moment, engaging in one of the most basic and common activities of our lives…yet one that is crucial to our existence, and simply re-connect! Jesus knew this…and it was through these meals that Jesus was shown to be most human, and compassionate, such as when his preaching inspired the miracle of the feeding of the 5,000; or when he invited the disciples to join him for breakfast on the shore of the lake, or to share in the Seder meal, which we know as the Last Supper.
In these events, we see how Jesus truly was “God with us”; sharing our basic human needs, of nourishment, shelter, and love for each other! Through the Gospels we can see that Jesus truly did know our pain…and also our joys, as our lives can be rich with experiences…both good and bad (hopefully more of the former)!
I believe that having lived as one of us gave Jesus an understanding of our human
condition, and therefore, more compassion for us – perhaps it was this experience which helped Jesus say no to Satan when he tempted him to save himself from the desert, and lift himself up about humanity, turning his back on his mission…instead Jesus chose to remain a person among people…chose to continue to follow his difficult path, because he knew that it would be the best thing for the world, and for all of us!
As single parents we have often had to face many hard times and hard decisions, sometimes things get so tense and so confusing that we don’t know what to do, and it can feels as if we are on our own, and that no one really understands what we are going through. Our kids can feel this way too, I have often heard my (then) teen-aged daughter say these same things to me: that I do not understand what she has to deal with, that no one does…that she feels all alone!
The good news is that we are both wrong, because we are NOT alone, and there are those who do understand!
Our kids have us, and despite what they think, we do have an understanding of the struggles that our children are facing, as we have been children and teens as well…we have been in their shoes, and know what it is like to experience the confusing whirl-wind of growing up, and the crazy roller-coaster ride of being a teen-ager. Although we do not know exactly what their experience is, we can relate to how they are feeling because we too have felt the same things in the past…as well as today.
Although we are single parents we are not really alone either, because as Christians we live in the light of the risen Christ…who came to us as a humble baby born in a manager, the child of a hard working family who lived as one of us in this world and who knows all the joys and pains of living and all the struggles of living life on life’s terms. We also have others, the people who love us, support us with compassion and with whom we can share our faith. God can speak through those who are closest to us…including our children…who are often the ones that we are closest to.
God comes to us in the midst of our lives…in ways that we can understand: through scripture, through friends and professionals, and through our children…which are the greatest sign of the presence of God’s grace in our lives.
Let us Pray:
God, thank you for coming to us in ways that we can understand, such as a small child born in a manger, or a simple carpenter preaching the good news of your love for all of your children. Thank you for loving us right where we are…in the midst of our own lives! Help us to make your presence known in the world as we share our experience, faith and hope with our children and each other.