"Like Father, Like Son"
December 20, 2007
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6
A few years ago our son had a blessed vicarage in Clio, Michigan. Because I have such fond remembrances of that church and the pastor with whom he worked, I simply had to read last week’s Associated Press article which was sourced out of Clio.
The story began with police checking on a truck that had become stuck in mud at a city park. In the passenger’s seat was a man surrounded by beer cans and open liquor bottles. The man explained he had asked his son to “drive them home because he was too drunk to get behind the wheel.” Not a great example, but at least dad didn’t drink and drive.
My sterling opinion of the father tarnished a bit when I read the son, who was driving, was 13. To his credit, the boy told the police he didn’t think he should be driving; to his shame, the boy didn’t want to drive because he, too, was drunk.
My first reaction to that story was to remember the words of Proverbs, which are the text for today’s devotion: “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” If those words are true, and Scripture says they are, that boy is going to have a lot of serious unlearning to do. By God’s grace, that, too, will happen.
My second reaction was to give thanks for the many children out there who are blessed to have Christian parents and teachers, people who are doing all they can to make sure the little ones entrusted to them get started out walking on the right path –God’s path.
Indeed, with children’s Christmas services being conducted all over the country, this devotion is a “thank you” to the many adults who sacrifice to make sure the Savior and not Satan is the greatest influence in their children’s lives, that the Holy Spirit and not the spirits contained in a bottle of booze remain the motivator as these children grow.
I rejoice that you have joined your voices with those of the Christmas angels letting young souls know they have good news of great joy in the Savior who has been born for them.
THE PRAYER: Dear heavenly Father, send the Holy Spirit upon those families where Jesus is unknown and unwanted. Grant them the gift of faith so they may see the Savior’s sacrifice. In those homes where Jesus’ story of salvation is good news of great joy, let the children give thanks for those who have done all they can to set their feet on the path of eternal life. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries