“The people were amazed at what they heard the shepherds say [about Baby Jesus].  But Mary treasured all she heard and held it in her heart.”

Luke 2:18-19


Notes for Contemplation as You Use this Devotional:

  • This passage from the Gospel Writer called Luke is part of Jesus’s birth story.
  • Early on, the Luke Writer alludes to the wondrous things Jesus will do, and many people, including his mother, Mary, are excited to imagine his potential.
  • Although we know little about Mary’s thoughts and feelings, we can imagine her delights and frustrations as Jesus assert his independence; for example, when she and Joseph find him in the temple (Luke 2:41-49) and during the wedding at Cana (John 2:1-11). And even though Mary doesn’t always understand Jesus’s choices, she frees him to live as he chooses.
  • Imagining possibilities for children, especially our own, can fill us with hope and joy. We may want them to accomplish specific tasks and reach certain milestones, sometimes because they are part of family tradition. At times, we also may struggle to understand their choices when they differ from ours.  Yet, as many psychologists and parenting advisors teach, children need both security and freedom to become healthy, responsible, independent people who have ownership of their lives.
  • Just as Jesus, each of us is a child of God, unconditionally loving, infinitely compassionate, always and in all ways. In modern speak, God is sometimes called “Mother-Father God” to denote our divine parentage, no matter who are earthly parents are.
  • In “On Children” in The Prophet (1923), Lebanese Poet Kahlil Gibran describes God as the Divine Archer who loves parent and child equally. Of parenting, he says: “You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.” So, he encourages us to trust God and allow children to follow their own hearts: “Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness; / For even as [the Divine Archer] loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.”


Contemplation Questions:

As you reflect on your life and circumstances, ask yourself:

  • When I was a child, what dreams did my parents have for me?
    • List, word map, or illustrate as much as you remember.
  • When I was a child, what dreams did I have for myself?
    • List, word map, or illustrate as much as you remember.
  • When I think about my own children and/or other children in my life, what dreams do they have for themselves?
    • List, word map, or illustrate as much as you know. You may also enjoy asking them to share their dreams and desires with you.
  • What are at least three (3) things I can do to encourage these children to soar and become confident, responsible, independent citizens of the world?
    • List, word map, or illustrate as much as you can imagine.
  • When I consider the imagery of God as Divine Archer, what can I do to be the stable bow (security) in the life of the arrows (children) I let fly?
    • List, word map, or illustrate as much as you can imagine.


As you use this devotional, contemplate the ways you once wished to fly free from parental or family restraints.  And, no matter your role in children’s lives (as parent, relative, teacher, or counselor, for example), reflect on how you can encourage them to discover their own joys and choose their own paths.

As Gibran also says, children are “Life’s longing for itself.”  What an incredible gift of grace we share when we honor our children’s lives and give them all the love and security they need to soar.


© 2022 – Rev. Jennifer L. Sacks – All rights reserved.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
%d bloggers like this: