“And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature and favor with God and humankind” (Luke 2:52)
During Holy Week, we discover that we have a lot to learn – about ourselves, others, God, and the distance between God’s dream and our reality. We are finite, fallible, prone to self-interest, and often myopic and tunnel visioned. And, yet, we are children of God, reflections of divine wisdom, and able to grow beyond our wildest expectations in love, service, and wisdom.
The past few weeks Kate and I have been homeschooling the grands. I must admit that eight hours a day with young two boys can wear you down! We don’t always study, obviously, and if we can get three hours in of reading, math, art, and music – and then something on “Nature” or “Cosmos” or “Curiosity Stream” – I’m overjoyed. But we are also schooling them in love and wisdom. They, like all of us, are stressed and confused, and don’t know what to make of the time we are in. In some ways, although they can’t articulate it fully, our children and grandchildren feel the impact of the pandemic more than we adults do. It has radically altered friendships, school days, sports, and other activities.
Even here in a time of pandemic we can learn. The passage from Luke is one of my favorites – Jesus grew in wisdom and stature. Jesus grew! Jesus wasn’t complete. He had to grow into godhead, into his vocation, into a sense of his global calling. Jesus is an example for us. As finite and fallible, and fragile, as our lives feel these days, we can grow. We can take time to learn something new. We can look beyond our self-interest. We can say “I love you.” We can imagine a world beyond the pandemic and a church beyond the pandemic. We who have faced mortality head on – our own, our church’s, our nation’s, our worlds – don’t need to mess around anymore. We need to grow into our mission – and become healers – healers of the planet, healers of immigrant children, healers of the homeless, healers or children and grandchildren. God’s partners in healing the world.
Let us commit ourselves to be like Jesus, to grow in wisdom and stature and love of God and our world.
Give us a heart for growth. Let us go beyond easy answers. Let us not defer love and learning and let us plan for a world different from today – a world in which love rules and planet loyalty transcends self-interest. Amen.