Reflections: November 18, 2020
Wednesday of the Second-Last Week
By Aaron Fenker
Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. (Small Catechism: Table of Duties, Parents)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Your parents are a gift to you. Maybe you've got step-parents, or your parents adopted you, or maybe you're raised by your grandparents or other relatives, even foster parents! No matter what, the Lord's given them to care for you. It's not just food, drink, clothing, shoes, house, and home, either. Those are the great gifts of the First Article of the Apostles' Creed, which you daily ask for in the Fourth Petition of the Lord's Prayer, and God Your heavenly Father gives you through the parents or care providers He's given you. As good as those things are, it's not the primary reason God gifted your parents to you.
You were given to them, and they to you. God gave the way He did so that you would be brought up in the "training and instruction of the Lord." The Lord wanted you to receive His Word and Gifts. He wanted you to be baptized, to hear His Word, go to Sunday School and church, receive Jesus' Body and Blood. He died for you and rose for you, and now "all authority in heaven and earth has been given to Me" (Matthew 28:18), He says. He used that power to give His Word and Sacraments to you, and giving your parents to you and you to them is part of that.
What if sin is messing it up? What if things aren't so good in the parent department? Maybe sin has left you with a broken and messed up family. The Lord Jesus came for sin-broken families. He came from one! Thieves, liars, cheats, adulterers, murderers, prostitutes--all Jesus' relatives. He shed His blood for all the sins we commit, and all the sins that affect us in our daily lives and personal relationships.
He also hand-picked your pastor for you. Your pastor is a special Holy-Spirit-worked gift from Jesus, given to deliver Jesus and His Word and Sacraments to you. He's been called by the Spirit and ordained by Jesus in order to bring you up "in the training and instruction of the Lord."
That's what it's all about. Jesus saving you. He loves you through others--your parents, your pastor. He loves others through you--your parents, your pastor. It's not chiefly about body and life stuff, but about His Word and Gifts that deliver His salvation to you. He made sure He died and rose for you. He'll make sure He delivers His gifts in many and various ways, and through many different people. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
-Rev. Aaron T. Fenker is the pastor of Bethlehem and Immanuel Lutheran churches in Bremen, KS.
He is also the dean of theology for Higher Things.
He is also the dean of theology for Higher Things.
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