This is a weekend of graduations. On Friday, my grandson said goodbye to Kindergarten with a ceremony, a diploma, and a class picnic. His biggest hurrah is the end of afternoon naps. For me, it’s a reason to celebrate another milestone in his life. I noted some of his accomplishments: reading the entire Children’s Bible, mastery of the sign language alphabet, and an art portfolio that sings of his creative spirit.
Many of our friends were cheering their own graduates as well. The house parties and Facebook posts for elementary, high school, and college graduates lit up anticipation of the next great firsts as they bade farewell to the former. It’s easy to think the crisp edges of celebratory memories will resist fading. It’s natural to expect the coming years will brew up more reasons to celebrate. It’s common to forget this life doesn’t promise any nexts.
This is also the weekend we celebrate Memorial Day. It is a solemn reminder of those who sacrificed their remaining firsts so people like me can revel in the toothy grins of our favorite graduates. I share my appreciation for their sacrifices with my grandson, who has been known to freely erupt in a slightly off-key rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner” at any given moment. I view it as part of his training as an American citizen to appreciate the blessings God has bestowed upon him. Give it a big hurrah!
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It surprised me to realize Jesus is a feminist, although it is should be no surprise considering the way He interacted with women in this world. Way back in Genesis 2:7, the “Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life.” It’s not until Genesis 2:21-22, after the garden had been planted, the rivers were nourishing it with heavenly waters, and Adam had taken up farming, that God introduced woman into His private paradise without so much as a mention of dust.
In contrast to the inequality argument some modern-day women profess, in God’s eyes, we have always been equal but different. Beyond the obvious physical characteristics, scientific research continues to reinforce the distinct qualities of male and female brains and genetics. I am a member of the female camp who appreciates how Jesus favored us. God did that!
The Bible contains numerous accounts of women who held positions of authority and ran successful businesses. Read a few about Lydia in Acts 16:12-15, 40; Philippians 1:1-10. Flip over to the account in Matthew 28. Mary and the other Mary were heading to the tomb where Jesus was placed after his death, only to find it empty. Talk about favoritism! The women were the ones who delivered the news to the men, who by the way were in hiding. (Granted, they were wanted by local authorities.)
When you talk to your granddaughters, do you remind them how Jesus demonstrated His love for women? Or, do you remain silent, leaving them to hear messages that are contradictory to the Word of God? I believe Jesus wants your granddaughters to be confident of themselves and to embrace the complementary role we have with men. Be an intentional part of that conversation.