Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Child of God

So, I am leading a book discussion on a set of Meditations on the Stations of the Cross by Henry Nouwen. Today we are on the third station where Jesus falls for the first time. Nouwen writes about being a child of God like Jesus was a child of God, therefore being willing to fall down in public. Nouwen writes that Jesus, "never became the proud self-possessed leader who wanted to lead humanity to great victory over the powers of darkness." Rather Jesus humbled himself in the Jordan to be baptized and humbled himself on the cross as well.

I get what Nouwen is saying, but I struggle with it too. I am a leader, because of my personality, job, and ordination. In my diocese I am one of three priests under the age of 50 and only two under the age of 35. I get a lot of comments and dismissals because in the eyes of a lot of my colleagues I'm a child. It drives me nuts!!!!! I literally had congregant on Sunday try to make joke about how when some young adults on staff and myself serve on the altar for communion it's like the Junior Varsity playing for the varsity. I laughed it off, but it's been under my skin. Maybe I'm being too sensitive, but by every conceivable measure I'm an adult! Even the youth think I am old.

The real conundrum of course is the last thing I can do is stand up and say, "I am an adult. Treat me like one!" Nothing could sound more childish then to say this.
Oh well, such is life.

God's Peace,


Bob said...


Remember what Paul tells his young charge, Timothy (I Tim.4:12-16):

"Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you.

Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers."

The Swandive said...

I guess I don't see how falling down in public and selflessness and being humiliated and picked are the same thing or even similar, J. We are all children of God, and the best thing you can do is just be the light that you are, and be honest with people. It takes a great deal of courage and humility to be vulnerable and honest enough with people to share with them your hurt about being made fun of, even if it is in jest.
Be well friend.