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Advent: Innocence Shining

 

12-11-11 Philippians 2:15 Innocence Shining

Philippians 2:15b You are to live clean, innocent lives as children of God in a dark world full of crooked and perverse people. Let your lives shine brightly before them.

Spending everyday with my grandson who is now five leaves me wondering if Jesus might change out this analogy if he had to spend hours and years with a child. Don’t get me wrong. I treasure my time with him, but there are times when I am absolutely befuddled by his capacity to manipulate and fabricate. Some days I wonder if he’s going to end up with a flat bottom from sitting in time out so much. Then this morning during our Sunday School class I saw a verse that gave me a fresh perspective.

Ever since our grandson came into our lives he has been the center of our attention. At first he and his mommy, our daughter, lived with us. If Asher wanted to play a game (Follow the Leader was his favorite), or run (laps through the kitchen, dining, and living rooms), or watch a video (Baby Einstein rules), then we responded and played. Five years later the games and videos have changed but not his thirst for our undivided attention. But this doesn’t stop at home. When we go out to eat or to a church function, Asher assumes that everyone wants to hear his story or play his games. He is completely convinced that what he has to say or do is exactly what everyone needs to listen to. I’m starting to believe that he could grow up to be a politician.

As I reflected on both the verse and Asher’s behavior, I began to feel better about Asher and Jesus. If nothing else, Asher’s life shines brightly. He has received praise and is pretty secure in his ability. He knows how to shine. As adults we tend to lose some of that. Insecurity and self-doubt take over and inhibit what should be natural shining. Asher believes that he is pretty amazing and without guile he just presumes to share that with everyone. Some may call it precocious. I see it as innocent and unperverse.

Prayer: Thank you Father, for teaching me what innocent looks like. Challenge me to see where pretense has gained a foothold in my life and help me clean it out. I want to shine brightly for you. Amen.

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