If you give a mouse a cookie …
Our two-year old granddaughter Josephine is visiting us for a couple of weeks. She is at the stage of linguistic development where she parrots everything she hears, and that includes the speaker’s tone and inflection. She also likes to repeat words that have a special appeal to her.
One night, as we were reading books at bedtime, Josephine urged, “Mouse! Mouse! Mouse!” I was a little apprehensive since our dog had recently located one outside, but It turned out she was referring to a favorite story, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, by Laura Joffe Numeroff.
Do you remember the book? It’s about conditional predictability — what might be the result if a boy gives a mouse a cookie. First, the mouse may want a glass of milk. Then, he will probably ask for a straw and a napkin. Next, he may want to look in a mirror to make sure he doesn’t have a milk mustache. But when he looks in the mirror, he might notice his hair needs a trim, so he will probably ask for a pair of nail scissors. He may want a broom to sweep up after he gives himself a trim, but when he starts sweeping, he might get carried away and sweep every room in the house. The mouse may wash the floors, then take a nap. He may draw a picture, sign his name and stick it on the refrigerator. Looking at the refrigerator he may remember he is thirsty, and he may ask for a glass of milk. And chances are, if he asks for a glass of milk, he’s going to want a cookie to go with it …
If you like the concept, the same author wrote If you Give a Moose a Muffin and If You Give a Cat a Cupcake.
Jesus did not engage in conditional prediction. He told people what would happen, and it happened — no probably or might; no if this, then maybe that. After Peter had identified Jesus as the Messiah, Jesus began telling his disciples what would happen to him. He told them, “I must go to Jerusalem. There the nation’s leaders, the chief priests, and the teachers of the Law of Moses will make me suffer terribly. I will be killed, but three days later I will rise to life.” Matthew 16:21. In John 13:19 and 14:29, Jesus told the disciples that he was telling them these things before he left, so that when they did happen, the disciples would have faith in him.
Because of who he was, Jesus was able to teach the disciples what to expect at the end of his earthly life. And because of his teachings, we, like the disciples, can put our faith in him. He has placed no conditions on his love and grace. He lived and died and rose again for us, to save us from our sins and allow us into his kingdom.
Praise be to Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, our Lord and Savior!
Offered by Mary Thompson
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