United Church of Christ

Like Parent, Like Child

“I assure you that the Son can’t do anything by himself except what he sees the [Parent] doing. Whatever the [Parent] does, the Son does likewise.” - John 5:19 (CEB)

Back when my daughter was young, she had this habit of stealing my funniest jokes. After hearing my joke, she’d wait for a new audience to deliver her newly acquired material for even greater laughs than mine could ever get. When she told my jokes in her extremely cute and tiny form, the element of humor surpassed anything I could’ve achieved. Rude.

Relatedly, there were times when we were out in public and she’d ever-so-innocently repeat some of my more colorfully robust language. In the original settings she’d heard, the language wasn’t out of place, but it was quite unsavory in the places she opted to repeat it. Awkward.

If we examine Jesus’ life on this earth, we discover a similar pattern of Jesus mimicking all that he saw the Parent doing. Jesus reflected back God’s healing and transformative activity in the world, allowing others to experience the same through him.

While I’m still funny and creative with my language, my daughter’s imitations revealed me in greater detail than was comfortable and it required me to reexamine how I actually conducted myself.

Her mirroring serves as a reminder of how potent it can be to do the same as Children of our mutual Divine Parent. Do our behaviors match the activities of our Divine Parent? Do our individual stories align with our shared narratives of our Divine Parent?

Prayer
Help us see your gentleness, Loving Father; your strength, Courageous Mother; your wisdom, Divine Parent. Whatever you do, embolden us to do likewise. Amen.


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