Unaccompanied Minor?

Unaccompanied Minor?

Nov 26, 2014

Unaccompanied Minor?

 by Bill Probasco

On my trips to visit our various SDB churches to share my theme of being “Steadfast,” I’ve been blessed to have a traveling companion from time to time. My wife, Valerie, has come with me to visit the Verona, NY and Riverside, CA churches, and my daughter, Holly, came with me to the Boulder, CO and Seattle, WA churches. (Just so it doesn’t seem like I’m playing favorites, my son Liam is coming with me on a future trip to Daytona Beach, FL!)


When I booked my trip to Seattle, for Holly’s ticket I used a frequent flyer ticket I had been saving. Now the interesting thing about that is I had to book my ticket and then separately book her ticket. This seemed to just be an extra step, no big deal. It wasn’t until we had everything purchased it became apparent that because she is 13 years old and her ticket was booked separately, she became an “unaccompanied minor.” This was good and bad, or at least had its perks and drawbacks. We had to go to the check-in counter and speak with an airline employee at the airport because Holly was “traveling by herself.” But because she was “traveling by herself,” she did get to board early! She breezed through security, but then had to wait for Dad to “go the long way” through (“please remove your belt and shoes and empty your pockets completely…”). Even after we’d found our seats on the plane, the flight attendants came around to check on her because, again, she was “traveling by herself.” Holly loved the special attention, yet never felt alone with me steadfastly sitting right next to her. She was an “accompanied, unaccompanied minor.”


This got me thinking about the Christmas story in a new way. God would make the decision to “give His only begotten Son” into the world as an atoning sacrifice. Jesus the babe was sent “unaccompanied” into the world to take our place. There was no armed bodyguard protecting him, no strict protective agenda laid out for his every move. Jesus was in a very real sense sent to experience the world on his own.

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Yet Jesus was never alone. God steadfastly “accompanied” him all along the journey (“this is my Son in whom I am well pleased”). He made sure to have loving parents, Mary and Joseph, to look after him — even getting him to Egypt before Herod could fulfill the dreadful prophesy found in Jeremiah 31:15.


Like my daughter at the airport, that first Christmas it was Jesus, here in the flesh, who was an accompanied, unaccompanied minor: getting extra special attention noting his arrival (“star in the East”), people to look in on him (shepherds, wise men), even a watchful Father that some might not immediately realize was nearby.


God’s steadfast love was “ap-parent” even if God wasn’t visible as “a parent.” Just like I was keeping a watchful eye on my daughter at the airport, God was watching over baby Jesus. But even more so, just when it seemed mankind was lost in its sinful existence, God showed His steadfast love by sending the Greatest Gift of All.


In fact, it’s that steadfast love He showed that truly is the joy surrounding the Christmas season. God didn’t keep that joy, He shared it. Maybe the best part of Christmas is what any 4-year-old can tell you — it actually is better to receive than give, especially when that gift comes from God!


Merry Christmas!



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Bill Probasco

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