Collect of the Week (Proper 12-C)
O Lord, let Your merciful ears be attentive to the prayers of Your servants, and by Your Word and Spirit teach us how to pray that our petitions may be pleasing before You; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Luke 11:11-13 (From yesterday’s Holy Gospel)
11 What father among you, if his son asks for1 a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; 12 or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"
In the name of T Jesus.
What parents doesn’t like to give good gifts? Jesus says as much in His teaching following the Lord’s Prayer. If a son asks for a fish, no parent in his right mind would give that child anything other than a fish. Even us earthly parents can do that. And that’s saying something, since Jesus also reminds all of us parents that we don’t have it all figured out. In fact, he call us evil!
Consider then, what would happen if earthly parents like us, who are able to give good gifts to our children even though we are evil, would learn how to give godly gifts to our children. I mean, giving our children a fish, or an egg, is giving them good gifts, but any parent can give those, right? What about the gifts that we might give to our children if we learned to give the gifts that the heavenly Father gives? Not just good gifts, but godly gifts.
Now, you might say, “Wait a minute! Jesus tells us that the heavenly Father gives the Holy Spirit to those who ask him. Are you suggesting that, somehow, we might be able to do that?”
Well, to be sure, the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son, not from us. But the Holy Spirit has promised that He will do His work through the Word of God, and the Word of God is something we are able to give to are children, are we not? So, in a second-hand sort of way, and through the very means that the Lord has given to His people, when parents give their children the Word of God, they do indeed give them the Holy Spirit as well.
And the Holy Spirit is not just a good gift, He’s the Lord and giver of life! He’s the sort of gift that calls, gathers, enlightens and sanctifies the whole Christian Church on earth, and keeps Christians in the one true faith.
May we who desire to give good gifts to our beloved children, learn from Jesus to give the godly gift of God’s Word, by which the perfect parent, our heavenly Father, might give the promised Spirit as well. In the name of T Jesus. Amen.
Hear us Father, when we pray,
Through Your Son and in Your Spirit.
By Your Spirit’s Word convey
All that we through Christ inherit,
That as baptized heirs we may
When we know not what to say
And our wounded souls are pleading,
May Your Spirit, night and day,
Groan within us interceding;
By His sighs, too deep for words,
We are heard.
Jesus, advocate on high,
Sacrificed on Calv’ry’s altar,
Through Your priestly blood we cry:
Hear our prayers, though they may falter;
Place them on Your Father’s throne
As Your own.
By Your Spirit now attend
To our prayers and supplications,
As like incense they ascend
To Your heav’nly habitations.
May their fragrance waft above,
God of love (LSB, 773)