Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Do You Have a House or a Home?
Yesterday I read that last American survivor of WW I died. And sadly, each day more than one thousand WW II veterans, tagged the Greatest Generation by Tom Brokaw, pass away.
I’m not sure if any generation can be labeled the greatest, though we certainly understand the reasons why the WWII generation has received this label. But some amazing things are happening all over the world today in places like Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries, driven forward by a new generation of young people who have ideals and dreams and the technological savvy to stir the hearts and minds of their fellow countrymen and women. Time magazine calls these young people “the Generation That’s Changing the World.”
So which generation is the greatest? It’s a toss of the coin. Perhaps it all comes down to each generation “being faithful in their time.” The Bible echoes the refrain, “the faithfulness of God endures for all generations,” which I think means that God plants a seed of greatness in every generation.
Of course, each family has its own tree or genealogy. None of us arrived here solo: from generation to generation, we all got here on the same bus which departed from the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve were the first mom and pop. Sometimes things do not work out as planned, so unassuming Seth had to step up to keep bus rolling. Every parent tries their very best. Every parent knows happiness and heartache. I have said it many times, there are no perfect families in the Bible. Why even the holy family left Jesus behind one day!
So what does it mean today to honor your father and your mother? This week Dr. Rodger Nishioka will continue our sermon series on the Ten Commandments. This week’s commandment is Honor Thy Father and Mother. Not a clue how he will spin his sermon, but I can assure you it will be a homiletical humdinger and give you some fodder for your own family. You are in for a treat.
In the meantime, let me close with a story from the book, When All Else Fails, Read the Instructions by James Moore. During World War II, a kindly older gentleman who lived in a hotel here in the United States became acquainted with a young preschool girl, the daughter of a serviceman. The man noticed the little girl playing daily in the hotel lobby. It was the only place she had to play, but she didn’t seem to mind. In conversations with the little girl, he found out that because of the war, the serviceman and his family had moved time after time, from place to place, and now the hotel was their residence.
One day as they were talking together, the man said to the little girl, “What a pity that you and your family don’t have a home.” The little girl answered with deep wisdom, “Oh, we have a home. We just don’t have a house to put it in!”
Folks, in the words of Moore, being a Christian family “takes patience, commitment, energy, communication, trust faith – a lot of hard work. Christian homes just don’t happen. Christian families don’t just pop up out of nowhere. They must be worked out, nurtured, developed, tended, cherished – and renewed each and every day.”
Seem to me that if you strive in that direction, if you transform a house into a home, you too are part of the greatest generation that can change the world. And in so doing, you are also keeping the fifth commandment. We are honoring our fathers and mothers, and all the greatest generations before us, when we are faithful in our own time.
See you Sunday.