Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Daily Devotional Thought--From the Psalms

Psalm 127
1 Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.
2 It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil;
                for he gives to his beloved sleep.
3 Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD,
                the fruit of the womb a reward.
4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
                are the children of one’s youth.
5 Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!
                He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son
                And to the Holy Spirit;
As it was in the beginning,
                Is now, and will be forever. Amen.

In the name of + Jesus.

Scripture is clear, and this Psalm is but one example of Scripture’s clarity on the subject: children are a blessing.  Period.

It is the LORD who opens and closes the womb; who gives new life; and who knows us even before our parents have seen us.  Because the LORD loves life, created life, and preserves life, children are a blessing.  Period.

Today, we live in a world that wants to decide if, or when, a child is a blessing, or becomes a blessing.  When wombs are opened by God before we are ready to have them opened, we simply close them—and we’ll close them “on demand.”  When wombs are opened too often, and our families take on additional children that weren’t planned—we call the children a “burden” on society, we call the parent’s “irresponsible,” and we wonder if they know “what causes that.”  If we choose not to tame our sexual desires, and engage in pre-marital sex, we can avoid any temporal consequences of our actions by taking a pill, and ensuring that we won’t be unfortunately blessed with one of those burdensome children.

We live in a world that wants to build its own house.  We live in a world that wants to decide all things for itself; that thinks it knows best, and that the mind of God simply needs to evolve, or to lighten up, or to get with the times, or just to go away.  Because if we hear what God has to say; if we allow God to build the house, and to direct our thoughts and actions, He might build us a house that we didn’t want, or hadn’t planned on.

We live in a world that calls evil good and good evil (Is. 5:20).  We take what God declares to be a blessing, and what God desire to give as a blessing, and we call it a burden, and inconvenience, or worse.

And here we sit, in the Church, wondering where all the children are.

We confess that we have not always heard the news of another expected birth as Good News.  We confess that what God calls a blessing, we have called a burden, and may have even resented them being so demanding of our time, our money, or whatever else we love more than they.  We confess that there are empty seats in our churches because we have not understood this blessing.  We confess, that when our society speaks with ignorance, and hatred, and desires to kill, or to minimize, what God desires to give, we have remained fearful and quiet.  We confess, that we have tried to build our own houses, rather than letting God build the house which He desires for us to have.

And thanks be to God, through Christ we have forgiveness for all our sins.  Thanks be to God, Jesus’ death has taken our shame and our guilt, and His empty tomb show us that we have been given life.  Thanks be to God, that He teaches us to see children—the born and the unborn—as blessings which He gives to us, without any merit or worthiness in us; simply out of his Fatherly divine love and mercy.  Thanks be to God, that in learning to see children as the blessing He says they are, we are brought to repentance, and given by the Holy Spirit to confess.  And thanks be to God, that through this forgiveness of sins, the LORD continues to build His house.

Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! When God is building the house, we will learn to hear these words, and in faith, to say “Amen.”

Christ is risen!  He is risen indeed.  Alleluia!

Fill our homes with devout children, our heritage from You. Give us this faith and help us build our homes and families on the security of Your Word. Amen (TLSB, p. 975).

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