Today's Lectionary Text
Train children in the right way,
The other day I was looking at a photograph from before I was married, of my parents with me and my now-wife at her capping ceremony for nursing school. And after I thought about how young my wife was then, and how young I was then, I looked at the picture of my father. He was 12 years younger than I am now, and I thought about how wise and old he seemed.
My father taught my some very important lessons and values, and I suppose it seems appropriate to share a few that sunk in on this Father’s Day weekend. The main thing I remember my father teaching me is that there is nothing wrong with hard work and you should never look down on anyone who works for a living, no matter what they do. A person’s worth is not tied to how much money they have and how they earn it, but by who they are. He also taught me not be afraid to fail. I think that’s what he meant when he would say, “Do something, even if it’s wrong!”
One thing my father taught me inadvertently was to be smart, to know the facts, to judge wisely. I have loved important and trivial facts all my life. I would sit for hours reading the encyclopedia, learning all I could. But I did not always pursue the wisdom that this proverb touts.
Later, when I was much older than the image of my father in that photograph, I answered a call to ministry, and learned what the embrace of wisdom really meant. It is not mastery of the world, or manipulation of others for gain. These are things the world says smart people do. This is an empty pursuit. Get wisdom, learn to think through the eyes of love instead of judgement. Get wisdom, learn to think from what you can give instead of what you can get. Get wisdom, learn to delight in God’s will, and surrender your own. Embrace the wisdom itself, not for its use or utility, but for the sheer delight of knowing something more about God.
I hope your fathers taught such wonderful lessons, and I hope I have taught a few as well.
-Pastor Daniel Norwood
Washington, Barnes and Haddam, Kansas, UMCs
Prayer for Reflection
Source of all wisdom, we pray today for all those who teach us and lead us, for fathers and father figures. May they teach us to love your wisdom and your ways, and may we heed those lessons. We pray in the name of your son upon whom you poured all heavenly wisdom. Amen
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