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June 2020

A Higher Love

Year A – Proper 7 – Matthew 10:24-39

“Father and Son” by Shai Yossef – Click link to purchase art

You might think that today’s Gospel lesson is a bit strange to be the reading for the Sunday that happens to be Father’s Day. Today we honor fathers and we remember that the Bible often refers to God as our Father. In the Lord’s Prayer, we say “Our Father, who art in heaven,” or “Dear Father in heaven, may your name be holy.” And we know that one of the ten commandments is to honor your father and mother so that you may live a long and happy life.

But in Matthew, chapter 10, Jesus says to his disciples, “Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me…” Yes, we are meant to love our fathers, but we are not meant to love them more than we love Jesus. This also says that fathers are not supposed to love their children more than they love God. Why does Jesus say this? Family love is so important. 

“Two” by Shai Jossef – Click link to purchase art

This is a message about priorities. When one thing is more important than another, it has a higher priority. Here is an example of a higher priority. Let’s say you were walking near a waterfall with a friend, and you were holding a favorite toy in one hand, and you both slipped. Imagine that you were hanging onto the railing with one hand, and your favorite toy in your other hand and there was your friend next to you about to fall. Imagine you could save them by grabbing onto them quick. Wouldn’t you drop that toy in order to save your friend’s life? Your friend is more important than your toy! A toy can be replaced. A friend is more precious than a toy. People should always be a higher priority than things.

Jesus is not saying that a father should not love and protect and take care of his children. Of course that is what a father should do. But if a father loves his child more than he loves God, then that is a problem. When God becomes less important than other people or other things in our lives, then we start to make wrong decisions and we start to lose our way.

If love for God is the highest love in your heart, everything falls into place. God’s love helps you love and care for others. God’s love keeps you from making selfish decisions. God’s love helps you love your family and friends in the right way, a way that does not hurt others in the process. Jesus knew how family can sometimes seem more important than God, and so he told his disciples this important truth. May we always put God first in our lives. Blessings will follow.

Prayer: Dear Lord, Thank you for our fathers and thank you for our families. Help us to love them, but help us remember to always keep our love for you as the highest love in our hearts.

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