Monday, January 09, 2012

Keys to growth... the Jesus way.

Its been said that it can take anything from 3-35 years for an olive tree to grow from seeding to harvest. During the holiday time, a young pastor, who have been at the youth group and congregation I led at some point, made the point that strawberries takes 3-4 months to bear fruit.It is critical to know the seasons of different seeds, if we are to grow leaders.

One of the things that stand out in Luke 2: 41-52, is the concept growth “growth”. Jesus’ age is mentioned.
One could wonder, but he was a miracle child, he was the Son of God.. perhaps he was born with all his miracle power. There exist even some false gospels, which tells the stories of how he performed miracles as a child. Perhaps this could be the perception we might have of Jesus, of any-one who achieves in life…. No she just have it; she was just born with it…

Yet, we don’t get that impression in the Bible, nor in this passage.. Jesus grew intellectually, physically and socially…. but also spiritually (v52). The question is: What was the key to his growth
       1) Good habits
His parents followed good habits; consistency, tradition. For some "tradition" is a swearword…. Not for those who want to build good habits into their own lives and into the lives of their children and their children.
They had the habit of going to Jerusalem every year, during Easter,… Luke states, "as usual"… one could add, "traditionally".
There is value in traditions, because it shapes your identity..
He surrounded himself with people from whom he could learn.
His parents first looked for him amongst the family and friends. There’s a saying that you cannot choose your family, but you need to choose who your spend time with. Who you allow your children to spend time with. Here one is not referring to rich and poor, well-looking or class. We're speaking of values, good habits, positive, encouraging people. You don’t need to stay in a place with people, who abuse and have habits of destruction, people who are bitter, negative and who breaks down your spirit, in the name of family.
But more so, his parents took him to places which broaden his horizon. He could speak to the teachers, the professors, the learned. The places we go must inspire us, our children to higher things. To love reading, writing poetry, to draw, to ask questions, to be smart. News papers, books, movies must inspire, draw out the beauty.
3) He found love in His Fathers House. In Gods house. Rihanna sings that she found love in a hopeless place. Here, we find love, beauty in house of love, of hope... the Father's love. This has implications both ways: Maybe our commitment for this year should be if people ask questions about our involvement: didn’t you know that I should be in my Fathers house ?
But there is a flip-side: Our congregation should be a place where people connect with the father….It should be the “Father’s House”. A space for family, children of the father. 
4) Lastly he grew because he remained obedient, he remained submissive to his parents.  
      The key to growth starts with these reflections on the life and growth of Jesus. Maybe this is a good starting point to 2012.