Friday – June 5, 2015; 1 Peter 4:8-10
8 Above all, maintain constant love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins. 9 Be hospitable to one another without complaining. 10 Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received.
When she was a preschooler, my daughter would often wake me up before dawn. She’d be wide awake and asking me to play some game involving stuffed animals and Barbies. I would roll out of bed (literally) and crawl into her room and there we would play until the sun began to rise and it was time to start getting ready for our day…and have a cup of coffee!
I was not always happy about being woken up early, but today it remains one of my treasured memories of raising my daughter.
This was just one of the many sacrifices I made as a single father. Other sacrifices included going many years without having a social life, taking lower-paying jobs that did not require me to travel, as well as the really hard stuff, like having to manage a home, taking care of my daughter when she was sick and dealing with school problems. Then, when my daughter was a teenager, I spent many sleepless nights waiting up for her to come home, and had to deal with the trouble she got into as she went off course in life. This behavior caused a lot tension between us and led to many arguments, and a lot of hurt feelings!
All in all, I sacrificed a lot as I raised my daughter, just as we all have, but I think we would all agree that what we gave up was nothing in the face of all that we gained by being single parents!
As parents, we are called to be good stewards of a great gift: our children! The sacrifices we make are a big part of parenthood (when it is done right) as we often wind up giving up, or rather, changing what we want in favor of what our children want and need in their lives! However, this sense of commitment is not our only motivation for these changes, as we also act out of our great love for them! It is this love that inspires us to do things for our children that we would not do for anyone else, and this love that allows us to forgive the pain that parents and children can inflict upon each other, as well as the mistakes that we all make.
As our perfect parent, God knows that parenting children is not easy, and also knows the intense love that is shared, and the deep pain that can be felt between parents and children. This is why we are admonished in today’s reading to remember that the most important thing of all is love! It is love that binds us together and love that saves us from the scourges of life, and when love is shared it can give us hope in the face of things we cannot control, and support when our burdens seem too great to carry alone!
This is our good news for today: that we are loved by God, and that this love fills our world through the grace that was given through Christ! As followers of Christ we are called to share this love by serving one another, and caring for each other, especially our children! While this selflessness is not always an easy thing for us to do, we are called to do it without complaint…but are forgiven when we fall short…because as well-loved children of God we are immersed in grace! Surrounded by grace, we are accepted just as we are and right where we are, just as we accept our children and love them no matter what…and this is our greatest gift!
Let Us Pray:
Dear God, thank you for loving us as your children, and for all that you have done for us, even when we did not deserve it. Help us to be good stewards of our children, raising them in the light of your love, and treating them with grace as we guide and forgive wherever it is needed. Let us remember that this love and forgiveness is for us as well, and that for all we have ‘given up’ or have ‘put up with’ we have received the great gift: our children, and that in turn, our children will be the gift we make to the world. A gift of love, which can cover a multitude of sins and bring us closer to knowing your Kingdom in our world!