Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Given a job and giving a blessing

"There had better be not one ounce of trouble from you."
"Please, give me a call if there are any problems."
"Bedtimes are . . . "
"Please, be good."

I may not be out for long, but the times I do get out, these words are usually the last my kids hear from me.  Certainly, I give last minute hugs and kisses, but there is an urgency to my actions.  A rush for the door.  A grasp for those seemingly fleeting moments of peace and quiet.  
Christ spent the last three years of his earthly life surrounded by needy people. There were crowds and sick people.  Children had died.  The rulers of the day were accusatory and were out for blood.  Many of his so called friends walked away when the pain was too great.  Even his own brothers did not believe him and thought he was nuts.
But then there were the twelve, the ones closest to his every move.  They had watched him die.  Now they saw him alive again.  Hope lost had now been renewed over the last 40 days.  
But now he was leaving again.  
My littles often cry and cling to my leg trying to keep me close.  What kept the disciples from hanging on with every ounce of their power?  Jesus was leaving . . . again.
Luke gives us a picture of Christ to hold on to.  Both in the end of his first book, Luke, and the beginning of his second book, Acts, he shares Christ's final message and his parting actions.  
Christ's time on earth was done, but his story was to keep going.  He gave his disciples some final commands, a mission to complete.  Speak Jesus.  To everyone.  In every place.  They were promised the Holy Spirit to help them, so they were not left alone to fend for themselves.  Their job was doable.  His commands were simple, yet encompassing.  My authority is severely limited. My role as mom extends to a relatively small group of people.  I am reminded though that my family is who I love the dearest.  Are my words to them clear and purposeful?  Are my expectations even reasonable? 
Then take a look at what happens next.  As Christ is leaving their presence, he lifts his hands to bless his disciples.  It was personal and purposeful.  He was not rushed in his last minutes.  His loving arms was the image that would be etched into their mind's eye. His actions matched his words, full of care, concern, and passion.  He was God.  He could have done anything or he could have done nothing.  He chose to bless.
My kids beg for one more hug, for one more kiss, for one more reassurance of my return.  God does not share the disciples words as Christ left, but we do know that they stood gazing and watching.  I wonder if they asked for just one more assurance that he was coming back.
He had given them a job to do, and he blessed them.  The two blended in this sureal image that was to set  a new course for the disciples.  
I am good at giving jobs, but I am lacking in the blessing part.  Thank you, Lord, that your example is flawless.  Thank you, that your love extended from heaven to earth and back again.  Thank you, Jesus, for your blessing.  

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