There is something about turning middle age that causes many of us to focus like a laser on our own mortality. And with that comes the almost irrepressible compulsion to share our maternal or paternal wisdom with our children. The blog “Shit My Dad Says” is devoted almost entirely to this phenomenon. There’s just stuff we’ve learned along the way and it seems like such a waste not to share these things with our children. And so we do. Early and often. To our children’s dismay.
But I have often wondered, if I only had a few more days or weeks or months left with my children, what would I choose to tell them? What are the really important things I want them to know?
Surely Jesus must have asked himself this question during the forty days between Easter and his ascension into heaven. He had spent his entire ministry imparting wisdom to his friends and followers. But his ministry was coming to an end. Of all the things he had tried to teach them, what were the most important things that he wanted them to remember?
As far as I can tell, it looks like we have about nine recorded accounts of Jesus talking to his disciples during that forty day period after Easter. So what did he say? Of all the many things that Jesus tried to teach his disciples, what were the essential things he wanted them to remember?
Well, it turns out that Jesus says about what we would probably say if we had just a limited amount of time left with our children.
He tells them not to be afraid. That everything is going to work out okay.
He tells them to love each other and to take care of each other.
And he tells them that he loves them and that he will see them again some day.
I guess Jesus knew that his parenting days were over. There was no more time for speeches, lectures, or even parables. It was time to boil an entire ministry down to the very basics. And so he did: Don’t be afraid. Its going to be OK. Love each other. Take care of each other. I love you. I’ll see you again.
Words to remember.