I didn't want to write about any of the lectionary passages this week. I started out writing about all the awesome pictures people were posting on Facebook of children (of all ages) going back to school. From the elaborately posed to the casual over-the-shoulder wave, they're all happy, excited faces, eager to face the world. You can't beat that.
I was going to relate that to how we know virtually nothing about Jesus as a child other than he was named and presented in the temple according to custom and that one story about him "being about my Father's work" when he was 12 (Luke 2). I think maybe that's because he was busy having a normal, everyday childhood. At least, as normal and everyday as it could be in an occupied country in the first century. If they could have, maybe Mary and Joseph would even have posted one of those first day of school photos on Facebook.
I think I had a plan to connect those pictures of new beginnings to the passage from Ecclesiastes about how there's a time for everything and say something hope-filled about what's ahead.
But then there was that picture on Facebook, and in the news, and the story about Alan, his brother, Galib, and mother, Reham, and I lost my train of thought on the whole normal, everyday childhood thing. Others will have something more eloquent to say, perhaps. I'd like to suggest we might say a prayer of thanks for all that we can offer our children, a prayer of hope for those who struggle even to keep their children safe and fed, and a prayer for strength that we might be able to do something about that.
A post about Mark 7:24-37 tomorrow.