Reflections: Friday, The Third Week of Epiphany

Today’s Reading: Luther’s Small Catechism – Table of Duties: To Children  

Daily Lectionary: Zech. 4:1-5:11, Romans 15:14-33

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.  “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” (Ephesians 6:1-3)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Today we hear from the Table of Duties in the Small Catechism about what God expects of children. St. Paul quotes the 4th Commandment teaching children that they should honor their parents. (BTW, one of the best places to read about what the 4th Commandment means for children and parents is in Luther’s Large Catechism.  It’s only a few pages long, and if you have parents or children, it will help you.)

God sent His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross and rise again to be the propitiation for the sins of the world. He is the sacrifice that pays for our sins, so that by grace through faith in Christ, we are forgiven and declared just. From the moment people fell into sin, through to when Christ died and rose, and onward to the end of the world —God wants people to hear the Gospel and be saved. The 4th commandment is so important because in each generation, God has given parents the responsibility to bring their children to Christ and to teach His word to them (Deuteronomy 6:4-7).

Parents start by bringing their children to church to be baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Parents then are to bring their children to church to hear the Word, learn about Christ and His work, sing His praises in the liturgy and hymns, and partake of Holy Communion when they are ready.

Since God has given this role to parents, He also commands children to honor their parents. When children honor their parents, they are ready to receive the good teaching and wisdom that God wants parents to give them. So, children are to respect their parents, speak well to them, help them, learn from them, and regard them as those whom God Himself has sent to bless them.

Many children struggle to give the honor which parents deserve. Many parents struggle to raise their children to walk with God. But when parents and children repent of their sins, are forgiven in Christ, and walk with Him as He intends, the blessings that follow are rich. They are blessings that last all through life in this world and in Heaven. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Almighty God, heavenly Father, You have blessed us with the joy and care of children. Give us calm strength and patient wisdom that, as they grow in years, we may teach them to love whatever is just and true and good, following the example of our Savior, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

-Pastor Jeffrey Horn is Pastor at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Escondido, CA,

Audio Reflections Speaker: Patrick Sturdivant, Development and Marketing Executive at Higher Things.

Study Christ’s words on the cross to see how you can show more Christlike grace in your life. Perfect for group or individual study, each chapter has a Q&A at the end, and the back of the book includes a leader guide. Available now from Concordia Publishing House.