Sometimes he can go through a whole morning without ever thinking about it. In so many ways Jesus was just a normal almost seven-year-old kid playing soccer with his friends in the street. But then he’ll pull a move like he just did, and Joseph will wonder, How did he do that? What was that move he just put on the ball that sent it suddenly going in another direction, right to Nathaniel for a goal? Never seen anything like it. And his father watched as Jesus jumped all over Nathaniel as if he was the hero when all along it was where Jesus put the ball, and how he got it there, that did it. A three-year-old could have made that kick.
Joseph just shook his head in disbelief. And who would ever know that Nathaniel was the town bully? When anyone was around Jesus, things changed. Jesus just had that effect on people.
Right then, he waved at Joseph and said, “Watch this, Dad,” and he somehow sent the ball behind him, up over his head and caught it with his knee. “Show off,” Joseph cried and Jesus grinned back with that cocky little grin, still juggling the ball. All the neighbors kept saying he was going to go All-Village someday, but Jesus had no more desire to do that than do the laundry. He was just having fun, and he always made his teammates look like they were the ones going All-Village. Even Nathaniel.
Just then Mary came up behind Joseph and slipped her arm in his.
“Do you think about it a lot?” he asked, after they watched the children play for a moment. He knew she knew what he was talking about.
“All the time,” she said. “It never leaves me. We’ve got to cherish these moments while he is a happy kid, because soon there won’t be any more smiles.”
Mary. Always the realist. He knew she was right; he just didn’t want to think about it.
Suddenly Mary dug into Joseph’s shoulder with her chin right on his funny bone and he wriggled away laughing. “Cut it out!” he said playfully, but Mary had that mischievous look in her eye. She was going to go for his ribs now, and he straight-armed her with a hand on each shoulder. A flood of emotion came over him and he pulled her to him, kissed her and held her tight. How was this all going to turn out? Painfully, he surmised. He’d been studying Isaiah in the Talmud about a suffering savior. The Rabbi had said it very well could be Jesus, but he was hoping that there was possibly another interpretation of the prophecy.
Later that night, when Joseph and Jesus were out walking out under a cold starry sky, Jesus started asking Joseph questions he could not possibly understand, much less answer. Lately, his questions had turned this way, and Joseph felt overwhelmed. All he could do was put his hand on his son’s shoulder and say, “God only knows.”
“You know your birthday’s coming up,” Joseph said a little later as they neared the house. “Have you thought about what you might want?”
“I want everyone to have life,” Jesus said, “and have it more abundantly.”
“I sort of thought you might say something like that. Happy Birthday.”
— This Weeks Community Activities —
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Sunday, December 4 and every Sunday evening
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Tuesday, December 6 and every Tuesday evening
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What in the World
Wednesday, December 7 and every Wednesday morning
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Thursday, December 8 and every Thursday morning
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Friday, December 9 and every Friday
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Friday, December 9 and every Friday
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