Ginger Rothhaas is a seminary student at Saint Paul School of Theology and is serving in Congregational Care at The Church of the Resurrection.
It was not until I was a mother that I began to understand unconditional love. I realized, looking at my new baby, that love isn’t earned–it is given, and it is endless.
As a child, I loved seeing my dad’s face light up with pride as I accomplished things he valued. But I was programming myself to think that I had to earn his love with straight A’s, purple ribbon horse show performances, and an impressive business career.
But as a new mother, holding my own baby, I had a new awareness that my dad had loved me unconditionally all along. I realized that his face probably lit up every time my curly little head entered the room, not because of what I had accomplished, but because I was his child.
As I read scriptures of Jesus praying to “Abba” Father, I sense Jesus recognizing God’s unconditional love. Likely this was modeled to him through his earthly father, Joseph. Little-boy Jesus was shaped by Joseph’s unconditional love of Mary: Joseph had faith that this pregnancy was God’s work. Joseph taught Jesus what fatherly love looked like and felt like. Joseph and Mary, as parents, fostered an environment where Jesus could grow into his divine calling.
We are all called to be Josephs today…recognizing that God is at work, and doing our part to help people live into their callings. My additional homework, and maybe yours too, is to fully accept that God unconditionally loves us, and straight A’s aren’t what matters!!
Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions.