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Today my friends and I talked about work.
About abiding.
About being the most amazing branch EVER, but if you don’t reproduce yourself, then when you die, you are only so much firewood.
No memory of you.
No saplings.
No fruit.

“By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.” John

I may be the most productive, successful person ever.
But if I do not reproduce myself, my work stops with me.
I can reach only as far as I can reach.

On being seed-filled: What benefit to the tree is the fruit?
It is not for the tree. It is outward focused.

“Remind me of this with every decision: Generations will reap what I sow. I can pass on a curse or a blessing to those I will never know.” Sarah Groves


*Jesus, the Third Culture Kid

I know it is not Christmas time, but I have been reading about Jesus’ birth.
You can read about it too, in Matthew 2:1-23 and Luke 2:39, 40.
This time around, I was particularly struck by the time Jesus spent in Egypt.
His family wasn’t there for weeks or months, but years.

He became a blend of two cultures: his parent’s Hebrew culture, and the culture in which he was living.
He was something in between the two cultures. Something we call a, “Third Culture Kid”.
Having two TCKs of my own, I journaled about what it might have looked like.


Jesus, You were a Third Culture Kid.

Your mother did not know how to cook in Egypt.
Your father was not accustomed to the type of furniture the Egyptians liked, nor their tools.

Your mother was far from her family when you got sick, and probably couldn’t find the herbs and balms she knew how to use.

When it was time for you to go to school, your parents were aliens, not citizens. Your parents didn’t even speak Egyptian.

But you probably picked it up quickly, as well as Egyptian culture, which embarrassed your parents around the other Hebrew families living in Egypt. They would ask again, “Why did you choose to move here? No job? No family?” And what answer did you hear growing up?

You didn’t see your cousin John, or your aunt and uncle Zechariah and Elizabeth. You left no forwarding address. And your father absolutely forbade trips back home.

Your mother told you stories of Simeon, Anna, Maji, shepherds, Gabriel, Elizabeth and Zechariah, but they seem distant fairy tales here.

Your mom did the math wrong sometimes in the marketplace. The conversion from money she was used to confused her.

*Mary, Road Trip

Your husband woke you one night a few weeks after the visitors came bringing expensive gifts. More amazing each day was this child and the ways his heavenly Father celebrated him. Through angel choruses, shepherd worship, Simeon, Anna, and now foreigners.

It was because of the foreigners, though, that Joseph had tossed and turned tonight with dreams. Warnings. Finally, he woke you -There is no time, we must leave quickly... tonight. Bring only what you can carry. I’ve been warned in a dream, “Get up, take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”

So you fumbled through your darkened home. Baby blanket, some clothes,
“What am I willing to carry all the way to Egypt?
Can’t tell anyone where we are going...
Can’t leave my mom a forwarding address.”
You packed the foreigner’s gifts. These would help pay for your journey.
And finally, you gently reach for your sleeping son.


*John, Who Listened to God

“And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he lived in the desert until he appeared publicly to Israel.” -Luke, speaking of John the Baptist’s early years.


I picture the Father enjoying time with John, having his ear at any time. Interrupt-able. Willing to believe the unfathomable.

He re learned how to live,
Eating what?
Wearing what?
And the source of his “behavior”? He was filled with You, Holy Spirit.
That everything he had known would be debunked.
That religious leaders needed to repent.
Where did he learn that fear?
That authority?
How did his parents nurture that in him?

I want to make time like that.
An extended retreat time once a month. Saturday afternoons.
Really, don’t we give ear to other influences more often than that?
Shouldn’t I at least seek Him as often to hear from HIm on issues?