A few days ago I attended a Christmas concert and it was lovely; the music, the handbells, the choirs, the costumes and decorations—so spiritual, so moving. There were many songs I knew but a few I had never heard before (and here I thought I had heard every Christmas song). One of the new songs, Joseph’s Song by Michael Card really stayed with me. One line in particular challenged me; it asked quite simply “How can I raise a king?”
Joseph, Jesus’ earthly father asks this question in the song. He is greatly concerned about his ability to raise the Son of God. Initially, I empathized with Joseph, thinking, yeah, what a great burden that would be, what a monumental task to raise one so important. But as I continued to listen the thought occurred to me that every child is the son or daughter of God. Every child is royalty and therefore shouldn’t every parent have this concern? Shouldn’t every parent, regardless of the child’s gender or lineage, ask the question, “How can I raise a king?”
I wonder… If we had more “Joseph-parents,” parents concerned about raising a king, could we finally rid the world of the George Zimmerman types or the type of person who drives drunk and kills four people or the Sandy Hook shooter type or the DC snipers, neighborhood dope dealer, crooked politician, greedy tycoon types? Unfortunately the list could go on and on but we have the means to stop it.
All we need do is show and tell every child from birth up that they are loved, that they are important. That they are unique and have a spot in world history that no one else can fill. We must teach every child how to respect and how to demand respect.
We must engrave the Golden Rule or the Scripture love thy neighbor as thyself on the hearts and in the minds of every child. Every child must be taught to lead with love and shun fear. Let’s teach our kings and queens that the obvious (skin color, hair type, snaggletoothed, etc.) is unreliable so look at the heart instead. Every child should be encouraged to discover their gifting and to have fun not only during the discovery journey but also with their gift.
Can you imagine the change in the world if we were more concerned with raising kings and queens? We could claim more Nelson Mandela types. More Ghandis and Jesus’ and Buddhas and Mother Teresa types. The thought fills me with joy!
So what say ye Josephs and Marys? Dare we start with this holiday season, raising our babies (of all ages) to be true Sons and Daughters of God?