My son, Moses - our firstborn - begins kindergarten this week. And I'm a wreck of emotions! I can remember the day he was born like it was yesterday. What they say really is true: They grow up too fast!
And yet, in the 5 1/2 years since he was born, he’s not the only one growing. He’s growing taller, smarter, and increasingly thoughtful. But my wife, Cassie, and I have joined him in growth. We aren’t growing in the same ways (we can already spell a lot of words), but we are growing nonetheless.
Together, Cassie and I are learning how to be parents to a silly 5 year old and a rambunctious 2 year old! We’re learning how to “train them up in the way they should go,” as the Psalms say. We’re learning how to navigate busy schedules with various work commitments and activities. We’re learning how to prioritize our marriage even with kids running in opposite directions.
Through it all, we’re striving to keep Jesus central to our life, in our family, and in our marriage. And because our lives are constantly changing, we’re constantly growing.
What a shame if only our children were growing!
Perhaps this brief insight into my family’s life could be instructive for our family of faith, too? Good Shepherd is a bigger family, no doubt. Instead of just four of us under one roof, Good Shepherd includes over 650 of us, all running in different directions, with various commitments that God has called us to.
Which means we have many areas of growth - different things we can teach one another as we seek to follow Jesus together. I’m reminded of Ephesians 4:
Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
Notice how many times Paul uses the word “grow”! This isn’t the ABCs of kindergarten, this is upper division college coursework. It’s a call to all of us, to grow, together!
May we do so, in the name and by the power of the Risen Jesus!