Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. (Ephesians 6:1; the Table of Duties: To Children)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. In this last week of the Church Year, God's people are looking forward to the Day of Christ's return. But suddenly, jarring us back to the present is this bit from the Table of Duties: Children, obey your parents in the Lord. If you look at the Ten Commandments, you'll see the first three are about God. Then who comes after God? Your parents! They are in God's place to provide for you and raise you and correct and punish you and forgive you.
It's hard to obey Mom and Dad. They don't understand what your life is like. They're always hassling you over stupid things like your homework or cleaning your room. They want to know where you are and what you're doing, They nitpick and harass you to no end! It makes you want to slam the door or just get away for awhile, doesn't it! Repent. They're your parents. Step-parents, maybe. They are the people through whom the Lord cares for you. You owe them honor and obedience.
It's not as easy as that, is it? Your sinful flesh doesn't want to obey them. It doesn't want to respect them and do what they say. It doesn't value their opinion or seek their advice. But your sinful flesh is not in charge. The Old Adam has to die.
And die he does in the waters of your Baptism. There that Old Adam is drowned with Christ. Now there's a person who loved His parents perfectly. He loved His earthly parents, obeying them and even making sure His mother was taken care of after He died, rose and ascended. But more than that, Jesus obeyed His Father. His Father gave Jesus the awful command to die for sinners and so He did. Jesus saves us from our dishonoring our parents by honoring His Father above all things and obeying Him gladly to save us from our sins.
Should you obey your parents with that much trust and honor? Sure. But that won't save you. What saves you, what forgives you, what will enable you and your parents to survive your dreadful “teenage years” is that Christ's perfect obedience counts for you. His obeying His Father is you obeying. He has forgiven what you have done by sin and He lives in you to do what is righteous. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.
Oh, blest that house; it prospers well. In peace and joy the parents dwell, And in their children's lives is shown How richly God can bless His own. (LSB 862:4)
Questions or comments regarding the Reflections may be sent to the Rev. Mark Buetow, Reflections Editor, email@example.com.