I am the father of two adults, Amy (24) and Ethan (23). I still shout: 'Hi, kids', when I greet them. 

They don't seem to mind.

They are all grown up, working and making their own decisions about loving and living. Our relationship has changed over time, from me entertaining them, then training them, maintaining them and now relating to them as fellow adults.

It's been a challenge, but we've adapted.

And I'm still relying on my heavenly Father to show me how to best support them.

'Cos I'm still their dad.

I've been wondering what it might have been like for the parents of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

Bringing up the Son of God as a child, as a teen and then watching him attain adulthood probably wasn't all plain sailing. How did they relate to him? We get a few glimpses in the gospels, but not many.

It's apparent that Joseph died before Jesus reached 30. Did Mary bring Jesus up on her own or did Joseph die much later, perhaps triggering the start of Jesus' travels? We don't know. We do know that Mary followed Jesus. We know she was part of the group who formed the early church, as were his brothers.

So I wonder what it was like for Mary to pray to the ascended Jesus after bringing him up - knee scrapes, adolescence and all.

How did she adapt from mother to worshipper? 

Here's how I imagine how an early prayer to Jesus from Mary might have sounded.

Mary's prayer to the ascended Jesus

O Lord, my Saviour, my spirit rejoices in you, for you...

Oh, Jesus. This isn't as easy as I thought it would be. 
Oh, my son, my child, my beloved child - now my Saviour. 
My whole being worships you, and yet in my heart I still treasure those times when it was just you and me. 
Holding you close, hearing your first words, shepherding you as you took your first steps, watching over you... 
And now you watch over me. 

Jesus, my heart still aches when I recall your body arched in pain, bleeding. Your cries still haunt me. It's hard to shake the image of your lifeless body
wrapped in cloth and lying - in a tomb. 

Forgive me, dear son; I almost lost my mind with grief. I was blinded with my tears, and in my fear I didn't understand.  

And then, when I saw you again, whole, restored...
Oh how I loved to see that smile again, to feel your arms around me once more, to hear your laughter, to draw in your warmth as we shared a meal.
Just like we used to. 
But you were taken again so soon. I know you had to go, but oh, how I missed you. 
But I'll tell your story - so many want to hear my story. The boys promise to write it down, but I'll still tell. It thrills me every time I tell it, for how can written words capture you, your love, your presence. 

You spoke of a gift, you said that if we waited here in Jerusalem, we would be bathed in YOUR Holy Spirit. 
And now I see. 
I almost weep with joy when I hear young John and the rest of your friends
speaking in your name.
I recognise your voice, you see.  I recognise your heart, in their words. 
It's just like you're still here. 
Thank you for not leaving your old mum alone. 
I'll see you soon, my Jesus. 

How about you?

  • What stage of life are your children at?
  • Have they grown up and built their own lives?
  • How has your relationship adapted?
  • What heartaches and highs do you look back on? 
  • And how about your parents - how well has your relationship with them adapted along the way?

The wonderful thing about worshipping Jesus, son of man and Son of God, is that he can relate.

Whatever stage your life is at, you can ask him to support and guide you. His Spirit is still available to those who seek Him.