God is Light. I am a child of God.
Did Jesus tell us that our parents do not matter?
Gospel, Matthew 10:37-42
37 ‘No one who prefers father or mother to me is worthy of me. No one who prefers son or daughter to me is worthy of me.
38 Anyone who does not take his cross and follow in my footsteps is not worthy of me.
39 Anyone who finds his life will lose it; anyone who loses his life for my sake will find it.
40 ‘Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me; and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.
41 ‘Anyone who welcomes a prophet because he is a prophet will have a prophet’s reward; and anyone who welcomes an upright person because he is upright will have the reward of an upright person.
42 ‘If anyone gives so much as a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is a disciple, then in truth I tell you, he will most certainly not go without his reward.’
In our message today we read this passage from the Bible. It has confused me many times before because it seemed contradictory to other passages that bid us to “Honor our father and mother”.
My parents were certainly a troublesome source for me. Why would my dad walk away from a beautiful wife and a precious baby girl? Mother was so devoted to him, she loved him with her whole being, and yet this was not enough. I came to realize much later in life that it wasn’t fault of my mother’s nor mine, he simply was who he was, flawed like we all are.
When the beatings my step-father imparted on me became too much for my mother to tolerate, she gave in to her mother’s request to take me to live with them. She refused to leave this abusive man because she feared his threats. There were feelings, all those years ago, of being abandoned by her. My grandparents were the absolute best and I loved them dearly. But, there remained a longing for my mother who continued to refuse sanctuary for many years offered to her and each of their children by my grandparents. She continued to live in fear until her premature death at age 37.
I have been preoccupied with thoughts of parents. There was plenty of guilt for not having been able to get her away to safety so she could have lived a better life. She loved our Lord and showed it by always doing good for others. I spent some summer visits standing beside her in church, looking up at her smiling face as she worshiped and sang. She was his faithful servant. She is in the Light with God.
So, yeah, I have “mommy” issues. The point of verse 37 is simple: do not put mother, father, son or daughter before God. That’s all. Put God first before everyone and everything. The abuse she suffered was not about me. It was not about what I did or did not do. I’m not saying that if I had put God in my priorities ahead of her it would have all ended well for her. It’s about me putting God first right now, this moment, and moving on. After all it is only this moment in time that is truly here. I must not get lost in my sadness of the past and have my purpose clouded. I must let all things be for the glory of God. I must do God’s love, be God’s love in the world. I must place God first, put my priorities where my Light of God will shine through.
Each of us have this at our core – be the Light of God to everyone.
May Jesus Christ be with you today, and always.