Sunday, January 19, 2014

Epiphany 2

John 2:1-11 - Epiphany Two - January 19, 2014           
Jesus Gives Joy to Marriage

Marriage is a divine institution, not a human institution.  Proof for this is that it is still around.  How many human ideas – as good as they were in their time for arranging society – have since grown obsolete?  Take for instance the feudal system of Medieval Europe.  And how many social conventions – as useful as they once were for guiding people’s behavior for the common good – have simply outworn their usefulness?  Take for instance the food rationing of the 1940s.  But marriage is different than these.  Marriage has been constant in its essential form and purpose throughout culture and time.  And that’s because it wasn’t invented by man.  It was invented by God. 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Epiphany 1

Luke 2:41-52 - Epiphany One - January 12, 2014           
Whose Children Are We

I remember when Monica and I brought our oldest child home from the hospital after he was born.  As far as anyone could have assumed, we were totally prepared for it.  We had fixed up his room; we had a bunch of diapers and stuff; and his car seat was all strapped in.  But once we were actually on our way to our apartment, it struck us how crazy it was that they were actually letting us take him home.  Did they know how little experience we had being a mother and a father?  Did they actually trust us to take care of this child?  Certainly, he would be better off in the hospital where the inevitable blunders of his parents could at least be offset by ready access to medical attention.  Well, of course, we were just nervous.  And as it turned out, he was much better off in our home.  And seeing as he’ll be turning six in a month, our inexperience wasn’t as dangerous as we thought. But besides all this, it’s not like they “let” us take him home at all.  He was never theirs.  God gave him to us, not to them. 
And this is the greater mystery to ponder: not that nurses and doctors let us go home with a baby, but that God commits to our care little children whom he loves.  They are his.  He gives them to us.  They are his before they are ours.  He gives them to us so that we might take care of them.  He loves them before we know them.  It is therefore our chief responsibility as parents to teach our children of the great love their Father in heaven has for them.  That is why we bring our children to be baptized according to Jesus’ command and promise.