January 4, 2008 - Friday in the Week after Christmas

Daily Lectionary: Isaiah 63:15-65:7; Luke 2:41-52

"Then He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them, but His mother kept all these things in her heart." (Luke 2:51)

Want to have some fun with your parents? Like Jesus, be subject to them! Smile and say “Good morning!” and “I love you” when they wake you. Do what they ask with a smile and a question of your own: “Is there anything else I can do for you?” Play nice with your siblings. Clean your room. Do your homework.

Can't you just see your parents’ facial expressions?!

And, here's the thing: In doing this, your heavenly Father will get the biggest chuckle of all. After all, He smiled over you already today, when you first woke up and wiped the sleepy dust out of your eyes. Before you even had the day's first thought, spoke today's first word, or performed today's first action — He smiled over you because you're His own. Washed, clothed, declared holy and righteous in His sight, God is excited about you from the get-go, well pleased from the Font, thrilled now to see you in action — even when you're having some fun with your parents. His pleasure, announced at Jesus' Baptism (Luke 3:22), is daily announced now at yours.

We know the law. When you have not behaved your parents, you've experienced the consequences. More than that, what joy does it bring your parents, or God Himself, when you obey only because you fear the consequences of not obeying? Christians still need the threats and demands of the law. Often, that's what keeps us from doing what we shouldn't do. Those threats and demands curb our sinful nature, which is so wrapped up in itself and its own desires — often to the harm and ruin of those around us.

Remember you' re baptized. That means if the demands and threats of the law are the only things making you obey your parents, or God, shame on you. Go to confession. Admit your sad state. Let the absolution that your pastor speaks over you renew the promises God first began to speak to you when you were baptized. Those promises that make God Himself delight over you –– will keep Him pleased and in love with you because of Jesus.

So, grab your Baptism every day. Because Jesus was subject to His parents, that counts for you now in God's sight — clothed as you are, baptized into Christ. God reckons you as already righteous, subject to parents, doing what they and He command. Now you are free to do so! Thank God for your Baptism!

So, live in your Baptism. Drown the old you, who causes such trouble. Arise to live out what God has already declared to be true of you. And do that in the confidence of Baptism. In other words, have some fun with mom and dad!