October 15, 2018
“You fathers—if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead? Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.”
(Luke 11:11-13 NLT)
Giving Good Gifts to Your Children
A drama of Shakespearian proportions is splashing over recent business pages. An aging patriarch is engaged in legal battle with his daughter for control of a multi-billion-dollar corporation. Family fractures from this sort of battle are far too common.
My father died in 2001, 50 years after his mother. A dispute over $100 after her funeral resulted in my father never speaking again to one of his sisters. I’m not sure what 100 bucks in 1951 would be worth today - it’s not billions – but the fracturing is the same. Our father’s experience inadvertently gave a good gift to my brother and me. We never wanted that to happen to us – regardless of the dispute.
The last few days I have been noodling over Jesus’ conversation about prayer. A lot of it seems to be really about aligning ourselves with his Father’s heart for his creation. He created the crazy example of giving snakes instead of fish in response to a child’s request. In spite of our brokenness we usually can give the good to those who rely on us.
The good gifts we can give the generations that follow us are not monetary. We can love widely and deeply. We can leave creation better. We can create families and communities of faith as doorways to the Spirit. Each of us has different good gifts of reconciliation and forgiveness to leave as an invisible but powerful legacy.
A Prayer for Today
Loving God, you grieve when we allow $100 or several billions to create fractures in the human family. Help us to see that we are so much more than economic units. We are living, breathing residences of the divine presence. Guide us into love, truth and justice as gifts to our children …. For Jesus sake