You know how elderly people often say that they don't feel old in their minds -- just in their bodies? I think the truth is that, from birth through age 25 or so, we mature emotionally, physically, and spiritually quite a lot for a short 25 years. But in the next 50 or so, I don't think most of us mature very much at all. We like to pretend we are growing up, growing wiser, and growing in emotional maturity. But then someone at work mistreats us and we revert back to our 5-year-old selves, throwing temper tantrums and screaming fits. We talk behind each other's backs, we complain and whine, we pout and spew bitterness. Sure, we can feign adulthood for a few moments at a time, but at the core, we are all still just kids.
It's a good thing, then, that we have a divine parent that is always more grown up than us. God is someone we can turn to for advice and guidance, someone to kiss our bruised egos, someone to pick us up when we fall down and steady us on our feet again. There's something wonderfully comforting about knowing that we don't have to have it all together all the time. We can still get scraped and bruised, make dumb choices, and damage our relationships, but Abba/Ema will always be there to pick us up, brush us off, kiss us on the head, and send us back out into the world nurtured and loved.
Narrative Lectionary Text: Galatians 4:1-7
My point is this: heirs, as long as they are minors, are no better than slaves, though they are the owners of all the property; but they remain under guardians and trustees until the date set by the father. So with us; while we were minors, we were enslaved to the elemental spirits of the world. But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children. And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God.