Prayer for the day
Know this: The LORD himself is God; he himself has made us, and we are his; we are his people and the sheep of his pasture.
Scripture for the day
As a pastor, I do a fair amount of pre-marital counselling. In a few of the sessions, I ask the couple to outline things they’ve seen in their parents’ marriage, things they’d like to see repeated in their own marriage, and things they’d like to see left behind.
The scriptures often place a heavy emphasis on the importance of personal holiness, but they also emphasize the importance of corporate holiness, that is, the way we are holy together. There are many reasons for this emphasis, and one of the most obvious is that the way that we act will influence the way others act, particularly those of our own families.
We see regularly in the First Testament that the kings of Israel and Judah often followed in the footsteps of their fathers (and mothers), and that this could be a thing that brought great blessings or great calamity. We read of kings who followed in the footsteps of idolatry, evil, murder, and heinous practices. These would be punished as their fathers were punished. We read of those who would follow in the footsteps of worship, obedience, and honour. These would often be rewarded with long reigns and promises of God’s continued favour. The surprise is how rarely it seems that the kings (or any of us) learned from their parents.
Jesus gives us a picture of what truly learning from a parent means. He prays something in the garden that is paradigm-altering: “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”
Jesus shows discernment. He sees that what his father is doing is good, and so he seeks to follow. He recognizes his father’s legacy as a good one, and he seeks to emulate that legacy.
It’s time for us to recognize our Father’s goodness, and to live according to His legacy.