Daily Lectionary: Leviticus 16:1-24; Luke 10:1-22

Honor your father and mother. What does this mean? You should fear and love God, so that you do not anger or despise your parents and other authorities, but honor them, serve and obey them, love and cherish them. (Small Catechism: Fourth Commandment)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. You have a Father in heaven. He loves you. He provides for you and He protects you. He teaches and guides you. He disciplines you. He sees your good works done in Christ and He gives you gifts freely, out of love.

Your heavenly Father works through means. He deputizes your fellow humans, giving them a calling, with responsibilities and authority. God gives you little “F” fathers.

He gives you a biological father or an adoptive father to provide for you and protect you in your home. He gives you a spiritual father—a pastor—to guide you with His Word and to give you the forgiveness of sins. He gives you civil fathers—presidents, governors, and judges—to protect you from criminals and to order society for your benefit.

Every earthly father is a mask of God, an instrument of your heavenly Father. God blesses you on account of Christ, who was crucified for your sins and raised for your salvation. How do these blessings get to you? God blesses you through these authority figures. Yes, even God’s spiritual and eternal blessings come through fathers, although you probably call them “pastors” rather than “fathers”.

So, honor your fathers. Serve them and obey them, not begrudgingly, but gladly. Know that when you honor and serve an earthly father, you are honoring and serving your heavenly Father. Love and cherish your parents and other authorities, for they are God’s gifts to you.

And don’t forget to enjoy your daily bread, your safety, and all of the other benefits of having fathers, including the forgiveness of sins and eternal life. Give thanks to your heavenly Father, who has ordered such things for you. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

“You are to honor and obey Your father, mother ev’ry day, Serve them each way that comes to hand; You’ll then live long in the land.” Have mercy, Lord! (These Are the Holy Ten Commands, LSB 581:5)

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