Values for Life
In the coming weeks, the church celebrates two of it major feasts: the Ascension and Pentecost. In the first, we celebrate when the risen Jesus left the disciples, and in Pentecost, we celebrate the giving of the Holy Spirit.
Come again?!? We celebrate Jesus leaving us! Why on earth would we do that? Wouldn’t you think that as Christians we would much prefer him to stay around on earth to lead and guide us, telling us what to do. No, because then we would remain dependent and immature. Strange to say he has become absent physically in this world so that he might be present in our lives, within our own selves. God became human in Jesus that we might become like God. We are meant to ‘grow up’ to salvation and have the maturity to show forth the presence of Jesus within our own lives.
Strange to say we can see how this dynamic works in parenting. While children are young we need to be constantly with them teaching them values to live by so that when older, they can live those values in their own way. Passing on good values is not easy. It is often so much easier to do the chores ourselves, that to teach them how do them; so much easier to give them free use of the internet and mobile phones, than to teach them boundaries and self-respect. It is a challenge to teach them how to be responsible on Facebook, to understand that not everything ‘about me’ has to be shared with the world. As a parent or guardian, these challenges will stretch you…and that is when we can call on the gift of the Holy Spirit to impart to our children values they can internalise and guide them later in life.