Tag Archives: Genesis 18

Teach Your Children Well

I am amazed that God’s first act of his Creation Recovery Plan is the birth of a child. (Genesis 12:1-3). God will rescue humanity through humanity. There is something humorous, laughable even, to think that a child could save the world. It was a good thing that Isaac name was linked to laughter (Genesis 18:12-15). Yet the birth of Isaac to Abraham and Sarah will eventually lead to the birth of Jesus to Mary and Joseph.

Children continue to be a prime focus of God’s plan of redeeming the world. Resurrection Lutheran Church has made the faith formation of children a central component of our mission. We will continue that in the years and decades to come. Each generation needs to inspire and educate the next.

Centuries after Abraham and Isaac’s death, Moses was instructed by God to teach God’s word to the Abraham’s descendants.

You shall put these words of mine in your heart and soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and fix them as an emblem on your forehead. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land that the Lord swore to your ancestors to give them, as long as the heavens are above the earth. Deuteronomy 11:18-21

Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young sing a song about teaching our children,

Teach your children well, their father’s hell did slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams,
the one they picked, the one you’re known by.
Don’t you ever ask them why, if they told you you would cry,
So just look at them and sigh and know they love you.

In my own experience, my parent’s “dream” was to follow Jesus. They brought me to church, taught me to pray and to trust in Jesus. And for this I love them.  And my wife and I are called to do the same. Children deeply matter to God.

How are you passing the faith to the next generation?

Lord Jesus, help me to teach our children well.

Visitor from Wibaux

Yesterday after worship, I met Wayne, a visitor from Rochester, New York.  He was here in Minnesota on a business trip and decided to worship at Resurrection.   We had a pleasant conversation around visiting churches.   After our conversation, I observed others conversing with him.  Hospitality was being practiced.

Wayne’s visit reminded me of my first week at my old church.  My first Sunday morning was a bit overwhelming.  Like Resurrection, it was a growing congregation and being the new staff person, every face and name was new to me. A primary part of my job was to follow-up with visitors via letter and phone calls.  On Monday morning, as I looked through the small stack of visitor cards, one card stood out: a visitor from Wibaux, Montana.

Pierre Wibaux, the town's namesake.

Wibaux is a tiny town on the eastern edge of Montana.  Wibaux has no distinction, other than it was where my father grew up in the 1920’s and 1930’s.  My grandfather had been the county doctor.  Though the area has hit hard times in recent years, my father always spoke with great fondness for this high-plains town.  

When I saw the Wibaux welcome card, I wrote a special letter of welcome with a note asking if the visitor knew of my grandfather or father.  She wrote me back a short note, saying that yes, she had known my grandfather. In fact, he had assisted in the delivery of her children years ago.  She also wrote how she appreciated the visit to the church and the hospitality.  Her kind letter gave me some much-needed affirmation during a stressful transition.

In Genesis 18, Abraham is sitting by his tent when he spots three visitors approaching.  He immediately offers hospitality to the visitors, providing a special meal for them.  Soon he discovers that his guests are angelic visitors from God, who bring the promise of a son for Abraham and Sarah.  Hospitality has always been a hallmark of God’s people that brings blessings to both the giver and recipient.

How have you practiced hospitality recently?  When have you received hospitality from others?   

Prayer: Lord Jesus, may I practice mercy and kindness towards the stranger in your name.