From the Desktop of the Pastor – Week of the 19th Sunday after Pentecost

Hi everyone,

So I’ll be the first to admit it, my daughter has it pretty good. Maybe it’s because she’s our youngest, or maybe it’s because she’s so small that it’s hard to say no, or maybe it’s because her parents are total pushovers and it’s just easier to give her what she wants. Either case, she doesn’t lead an unhappy life by any means, as her needs are generally met and she has pretty much everything a girl her age would want.

It’s just that… man she can be really whiny.

To battle that, we make sure she at least has manners. Like we are sure she says “please” and “thank you”, and if she were to act up, we’d probably just say forget that and not give her what she is asking for. It’s a delicate thing, this parenting thing, so we try to be careful that she doesn’t grow up expecting that she will get everything that she wants.

The funny thing about that though, is that we really want her to have everything she wants. We want her to be happy in every respect of the word. And while “happiness” could be subjective, I think many of the times we would do everything in our power to keep her happy.

This might be where spoiled kids come from, but I don’t think I’m the only parent that thinks this way. Sure, maybe some can control it better than others, but deep down I think all parents just really want what is best for their kids.

Here are the readings for next week:
Genesis 32:22-31
Psalm 121
2 Timothy 3:14–4:5
Luke 18:1-8

Talk about being spoiled. Jacob is one of the most famous spoiled brats in all the bible. He stole from his brother, lied to his father, and was an all around mamma’s boy (which isn’t always a bad thing, but in this case it is). And here we have him wrestling all night for a blessing. A BLESSING!! This guy…

The thing is though… I wonder if this person in Jacob’s dream would have blessed him anyway. Not really sure what it means to “bless” in this story, but I would imagine it is more on the good side than the bad. And so for Jacob to wrestle and wrestle and mess up his leg for this blessing, it all could have been a lesson in humility for something that he would have received anyway.

I just think about how the gospel text contrasts the unjust judge and God. The unjust judge would give what is good after you plead with him and be a thorn on his side for long enough, but God is willing to give anyway. I mean, I guess you could whine and complain and nag and just be all bratty and stuff, but the fact is that God wants what is best for us even when we don’t always see what that is or could be.

Those are my thoughts for this week, in that in general, we just want what is best for those we love. Be it children, or spouses, or other family and/or otherwise, we naturally do what we can to ensure they are happy and safe. And we know what God has done already to ensure our joy and salvation, and these texts serve as a good reminder of not just what God has done, but how much God loves and is willing to love us, even in our sin.

This is something to be thankful for on this Thanksgiving weekend, that our God is a loving, merciful, and gracious God, willing to give us what we need for joy, peace, and love. Thanks be to God!

Have a great week, everyone!

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