Friday, March 27, 2009

Living Father

"The living father sent me and I live because of him." John 6:57

In every child's life there is a time when we recognize our parents in ourselves. I remember looking down at my hands when I was a young mother cooking supper and seeing my mothers hands. I had become my mother. I was terrified. The older I get the more I see my dad in many of the things I do or say. My father was a good preacher and a great dad. He was also a real character, impulsive and creative and hard to keep up with. We can't help it, we are part of a long extended line of traits and characteristics that are passed down, despite ourselves. We don't have to know our parents or grandparents to become them. They are embedded and encoded in us, despite the fact that they have left the earth and are no longer living as flesh and blood people. We are who we are because of them and they are never farther from us than the touch of a hand, the note of a voice, arms outstretched, or a look in the eyes.

Jesus was trying to explain to the unbelieving people about his visceral connection to God. He used the tangible notion of parent to child, that connection which is so unbreakable that even in distance and death we are completely connected. Even when we disregard the connection, it is there. Likewise, even when we disregard God's living presence in our midst, in the bread and the wine, God is there.

Today I want to be thankful for my parents and all parents. For the ones who took time to shape us and the ones who were too broken to pay attention. God promises to be present like the best of parents, so close to us that the Creator chooses to inhabit our breathing. May we all rejoice in the one who have come before us, who have given us life and community, so that we might know God. And may we also reach out to those who have no connection, no family, no one to tuck them in at night or hold them during life's storms. May we be the arms of love who make real God's living presence in their midst.

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