Room to Grow

May 18th, 2007 • Category: Encounters with Jesus
by Julie Benson

Today’s scripture: Luke 4:14-22 (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Julie Benson):
Don’t you love all the children who come to church? They bring out the smiles in all of us as we watch them learn and grow and think. During children’s sermons we giggle at their innocence and praise them for the lessons they have figured out. They have so much life ahead of them to experience and they such potential — to be anyone or do anything!

Each one will grow up and perhaps some may move away to focus on their schooling, new families, or new careers. Maybe one will even make a name for himself as a world-renowned surgeon early on in his career.

I can picture it now: 30-year old Drew comes back to visit the church one day and tells us all about how he was able to crack the code to discover cures for diseases previously declared incurable. He will point to the places in his medical textbooks that contained good and sufficient information, but will then elaborate how he could take that just one step further. With his newly developed techniques, thousands of lives can be saved. And we just stand in awe and say, “Wow! Isn’t that Dawn and Charlotte’s little boy?” We have watched him grow. We have seen his parents nurture and care for him. We, as a church, encouraged and supported him along the way.

How amazing it would have been to sit in the temple when our little Jesus, now a grown man, came home and read from the very scrolls we used to teach him! All the cities were praising him and he had developed quite a parade of followers already at such a young age! Well, we would have been bursting with pride that such good came out of our own little temple.

It is so easy for us to keep people stuck in the place where we first encountered them. We remember where they were physically, emotionally, and spiritually in their journey. Hopefully we have continued to grow and change along the way, but we tend to forget that others will do the same.

Give your friends permission to change. Be willing to see others anew everyday. First impressions will become old, false judgments. Immature thought and irrational behavior will transform into deeper minds and focused hearts. Today, look in the eye of your spouse, your co-worker, your friend — and see the newness of life and transformation of the soul. This isn’t the same little Jesus you first met!

Thought for the day: What old assumptions am I clinging to? What thoughts and judgments do I need to discard today?

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

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