Parson to Person: New beginnings
Parents and families usually start small. They practice what they have seen and what they understand. Over time, as they come to know each other and their abilities, the family grows and develops within its own unique family dynamic.
While the children’s exits from the family home are sometimes marked by graduation or marriage, eventually the children simply move away, sometimes following employment and sometimes simply to be away, and to begin on their own.
Due in part to the differences in persons, there is no set ending. There is also no certain date or age of transformation, no minimum term of service.
Instead, it is a process. In the push and pull of the bounds of authority and control, wise parents recognize the children’s increasing abilities, and give appropriate encouragement for them to exercise them from within the safety of the family home.
Parental love and investment not withstanding, the idea of bringing children to the world is to launch them to personal understanding of their unique abilities and to discovery of their ways to make a worthwhile contribution to society.
The completion of the process is a little simpler in terms of formal education. The school declares that the student has met the requirements, and when all accounts are settled, provides a certificate of completion.
I am reminded of a family many years ago. It started small. Their leader had assembled them and taught them. As families do, they went through great times and difficult times. All the while, the leader did his best to teach and encourage in preparation for their going out on their own.
After only a few years, the leader died. The family was devastated, and could see no future. The leader, however, had other plans, and arranged to continue through the family the work that was begun in the family. Although they were mostly ready, they did not feel at all ready to continue.
Their final readiness came in the form of a public demonstration of unspeakable power. There was no “failure to launch” here, and no question of an appropriate time!
By now, you have suspected that the leader is Christ Jesus, the little family is the first disciples, and the public demonstration was the gift of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost.
While our understanding of faith comes at different times, as does the personal coming of the Holy Spirit, His coming is the mark of approval for the faith we claim. And it is the power to live the life of a disciple.
Whether you feel ready or not, honor the coming of the Holy Spirit by being in worship this Pentecost Sunday.