Loving God, you who are the perfect parent,
I remember my mother, when I was small, involving me in the speech therapy program she operated in our home, so she could be both mother and professional at the same time. I remember going to the special needs summer camp with her in the summer. I think I can remember her stroking the bridge of my nose between my eyes when I was very little, soothing me to go to sleep. As a teenager, I remember getting up every morning to go to school, finding cooked breakfast on a hot plate waiting for us as she was already at work by 7:00 a.m. I remember my father driving me in our family car during the student riots in 1969, helping to pick up injured students and take them to the hospital. I remember the collegial gatherings of professors and graduate students at our home, and the intellectual banter that was formative in my life. I remember working on the car and fixups around the house, handing the wrenches to my father as requested. I remember my parents’ decision to bring my cousins to live with us when their parents were killed, and the love and grief that were there. And I remember other times that were more difficult as well. Conflict and pain for my parents and for the whole family. God, you were present in the midst of all of that, pouring your grace over all of us.
They weren’t perfect. But I thank you for my parents, and your grace that came to them and through them. I ask you to bless them, and show me how to love and care for them.
God, I know relationships with parents can be complicated. They aren’t all as they are supposed to be. I pray for those difficult and broken relationships with parents both alive and those who have passed on. May we learn what it means to honor them. I pray for those among us who are our spiritual parents in the family of faith, that you would show us how to love and care for them. I pray that my children might love, honor, and care for me, flawed as I am. Weave our lives together, that we might be a part of an interdependent community with love for you at the very center.
In the name of Christ, I pray.
KEY VERSE FOR THE WEEK: Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. – Exodus 20:12 Read all the scripture passages for this week’s sermon here: Mark 7:9-12, Matthew 7:12.
SOME THOUGHTS TO SHARE
This week, we continue our sermon series discussing the Ten Commandments. Here is a good way to remember them: 4,3,2,1. We have already looked at four commandments that deal with how to love God, and now we will move to commandments about how to love our neighbors. Three deal with specific relationships – parent, enemy, spouse. Two deal with possessions – stealing, coveting. One deals with telling the truth.
We will talk this Sunday, July 9, about the fifth commandment, “Honor your father and your mother…” What does it mean to honor? Does it mean to obey? Does it mean to agree with? Does it mean to respect what they do? Why do you think that this commandment is seen as a “bridge” between how we love God and how we love neighbor? If you are not able to join us in church this Sunday, watch us where you are via LiveStream, watch the replay of the sermon online, or listen to the podcast. Just stay connected through the summer.
QUESTIONS FOR CONVERSATION
In what way has your relationship with your parents shaped your relationship with God? In what way might you better embrace interdependence rather than independence?
Sunday, July 9
Heavenly Father, thank you for the many blessings in our lives. We pray that you reveal in our hearts opportunities to serve you in ways that we haven’t embraced in the past. Let us understand the different avenues available to serve you. Amen. -Prayer by DP
Monday, July 10
Please pray for peace and restoration for all families. Bring each one into your marvelous light. Teach us how to love one another as you first loved us. Amen.
Tuesday, July 11
I want to thank the Heavenly Father for all He has given to me. I want to thank all the wonderful people who have shown me His wonderful and perfect love. I want to thank God for blessing me and showing me what love truly is. Amen.
Wednesday, July 12
Lord, I pray for our country and the service men and women who put themselves in danger for our sake. May you bless all of them and us. Amen.
Thursday, July 13
We pray for the leaders in the world that they make decisions that work together and keep God in their hearts to guide their decisions. Amen.
Friday, July 14
Dear Lord, we pray for all those dealing with job-loss. We pray for peace in their families and your guidance in their search for a new job. In your name we pray, Amen.
Saturday, July 15
Lord, we pray for the leaders in our local community and throughout the nation. We pray that the decisions they make have your will in mind. Amen.
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