This spring my daughter and only child, Jesse­lyn, will turn 26. She and her husband live in the Chicago area, so my wife and I are blessed to be able to share meals with them, visit street fairs in their neighborhood and ask them to dog-sit for us. We take in movies together, go on walks and celebrate birthdays and holidays.

As a parent, it is a delight to say that Jesselyn has turned out to be a lovely and talented woman. She pursues editorial work. She cooks and bakes avidly and expertly. She sews. She reads and listens to music and is a loyal devotee of National Public Radio. She is a lively conversationalist on books, movies, television shows, Japanese anime, and politics. In short, her company is to be treasured.

But I have not yet said the most important thing I can say about Jesselyn: she is baptized and was raised in the church. Though Jesus certainly prized his family, he was clear that the highest priority was allegiance to God and discipleship.