Wednesday of the First Week of Lent

Daily Lectionary: Genesis 8:13-9:17; Mark 4:1-20

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

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. The Fourth Commandment would be so much easier to keep if you parents weren’t, well, your parents. Some other parents, but not yours. Yours don’t listen. They don’t give you a chance to explain. They don’t pay attention. They don’t provide for you without also making you follow a bunch of rules. They can’t seem to figure out when you’re just a kid and when you should be treated like an adult.

You think like that because you don’t love your parents. In fact, it doesn’t have to be the Fourth Commandment. We break any commandment, because we don’t like the things or people God has given us. We want other, better, newer, flashier, something else. Anything else than what our heavenly Father provides.

Which is why our Father in heaven provides His Son, even though we didn’t want Him, either. He came, born of an earthly mother whom He honored along with Joseph. Born to obey His Father in heaven by taking our place under God’s judgment for ungrateful sinners. And by that exchange, the Lord rescues us from sin and death and a dead-end life. He rescues us from ingratitude and, by His Spirit, teaches us to love and rejoice in the things that our Father gives us.

It’s a battle, a struggle, a cross to bear. To love your parents and honor them. To obey them and learn that they may actually know better than you. Your sinful flesh will rebel, backtalk, yell and argue. Yet the Holy Spirit dwells in you. He brings you to the forgiveness of Christ’s Word and Sacrament and works in you to learn to love and cherish your parents and all the gifts your heavenly Father gives you. It’s a real battle. But we know who wins: Christ. And that means you win, and that in Him you are a commandment keeper. 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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