As a young girl growing up in the church, I was always encouraged to base my faith on Mary’s. After all, she’s the mother of Jesus. She’s the epitome of being used to bring the …
For Joseph, there is little comfort in store. He will take in a wife about whom others whisper. He will make a cross-country trek with this wife while she is large with child, walking while she rides a donkey, only to see her give birth to the child not only among strangers, but among animals in a stable—the only place that Joseph could find for her.
We’re told that people look at the outward appearance, but that God looks at the heart. I’m still only beginning to realize just how beautiful it is that our God doesn’t look at us the way we look at each other.
Western Christian subculture, and the rest of the western world, has traditionally measured people according to what they can do. More and more, we define people by how different they are and how uniquely they express their individuality. But our identity is not in what we own, what we do or what we can accomplish, or in what others think of us.
Who is God, and what is he like? How should we look for his image in children and young adults? What does that mean for our parenting, our teaching, and our interactions with kids in our neighborhoods and congregations, whether those kids are well known to us or unfamiliar faces?
No matter what is going on in your story at the moment…no matter the pain, the sorrow, and the hurt, there is always something to be grateful for.