Carter acts like me…and Leah too. Sometimes his attempts to do what I do or say what I say are so comical that I think he’s making fun of me. Last night right before bedtime he went into full blown performance mode. He started doing a magic show where he used his toothbrush as a wand to turn himself into different animals and then would run around the room acting like that animal. At one point I got the wand and turned him into mommy. He promptly turned Leah into a baby and then began comforting “baby” and asking if Leah needed food or a nap. At one point he tried to pick her up. It was so much fun he got to stay up pretty late last night.
Sometimes he gets so intense and focused that he sticks out his jaw and his eyes get wide and every vein in his neck protrudes. I remember one time looking at him making this intense, almost angry face and thinking to myself, “Where does he get this? I know Leah never does anything like….oh no……it’s me.”
One of the great joys of parenthood is watching something that is part you become so much like you and yet altogether separate from you at the same time. It can also be infuriating to realize you are doing battle with your own stubbornness in a much smaller body. This idea of being in our parent’s image is no stranger to the Bible as we see in the beginning of Genesis when God creates man and woman…in the image of God he created them. There is this idea of relationship, of children who grow to be like God and yet who rebel and are different.
All of that comes forward into Ephesians 5 where Paul is talking to people who should behave as dearly beloved children. They should walk in the way of love, because Jesus walked in the way of love. We should be holy because God is holy. Our desire for God should be so strong that we strive to emulate Him. Our devotion should drive us to behave as God’s children because we recognize him as our father.
At this point in Ephesians, Paul has been making these arguments that anybody, whether Jew or Gentile, who comes into God’s church comes in with power and full membership. But now that you are here what should you do? We so often focus on conversion and then waiting until we die to go to Heaven. But Paul needs everybody to understand that baptism is a birth and that your Christian life is a new beginning where you must relearn how to live, not by the pattern of this world, but by the remaking of our lives in the image of Jesus Christ. We should live as children dressing up in our parents’ clothes and walking around pretending to be them until some day we grow up and people say to us, “You remind me of your dad. He must be so proud.”
People should walk up to us as Christians as say, “You remind me of your Father in so many ways. He must be so proud.”