Family ties … Sunday, July 28

Christ in Gethsemane (Christus in Gethsemane),...

The Gospel of the Lord …  Luke 11:1-13

Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.”  He said to them, “When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread and forgive us our sins for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us, and do not subject us to the final test.”

And he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend to whom he goes at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, for a friend of mine has arrived at my house from a journey and I have nothing to offer him,’ and he says in reply from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been locked and my children and I are already in bed. I cannot get up to give you anything. I tell you, if he does not get up to give the visitor the loaves because of their friendship, he will get up to give him whatever he needs because of his persistence.

“And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. What father among you would hand his son a snake when he asks for a fish? Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg? If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?”

~

Prayer. Sometimes you hear it described as talking to God. I prefer to think of it as talking WITH God, implying a two-way conversation and keeping the lines of communication open both ways. I need to talk, God knows that, but I need just as badly to listen, and I know that. Willingness to hear and a desire to be heard.

Some years back I knew a guy who was going through a difficult emotional period. It wasn’t life shattering but it was extremely trying at the time. He came home from work one day, distraught and at his wit’s end. As far as he could tell he had done all he could do (“You pray for taters with a hoe in your hand.”) and there was nothing to do now but pray about the situation. And so he went directly to the bedroom and, falling to his knees at the side of the bed, looked up, and without thinking about what he was saying (things had gotten to be to emotional at this point to think much) began to pray. He said, “Daddy … ”

Everything Christ taught His followers in the above passage, everything He teaches US in the above, starts out with “Our Father … ” If we don’t start in the right place how far do we go and where do we go? So we need to start out correctly. And understanding that God IS our Father is the correct starting place.

For years now I’ve believed, and I’ve shared it here before, that adoption is more real than natural relations. Being related to someone by birth is one thing. We have no choice in that. Adoption however requires a conscious choice and direct action. Now I’m confident that we’re born into the family and circumstances that God deems best. Free will being what it is we’ll do with that as WE please and not necessarily as HE pleases, but still, He no doubt puts us where He wants us. If this is true concerning natural birth and human blood ties how much more true is it when He adopts us into His family and the blood ties are the ties formed through and by the Precious Blood of Christ?

Family ties. They’re important. Some are, and should be, more important than others. I should be more concerned about my Heavenly relationship with God my Father than any natural family bonds. And I don’t mean that natural family is unimportant, because we all know they are. God gave us our family. But I do mean that I need to set priorities when it comes to family. And I consider that I am more closely related to another because of the Blood of Jesus than I am any purely earthly blood.

When I pray, when you pray (and now I’m talking to YOU, a fellow Christian and therefore a Blood relative), I need to remember my right relationship with God. Whatever reason I pray I need to remember who and what is primary, meaning just Who and what He is in reference to me and vice versa. And then I need to talk and listen accordingly.

“Daddy … “

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