As my kids get older, they seem to instinctively learn how to play the game. Not the literal game, which incidentally they do learn how to play as well, but the figurative game of life. Or more specifically, the game of getting what you want from your parents.
Our daughter doesn’t get it right away just yet, as she will ask for something from her dad and if he says no, then she’ll ask her mom or vice versa. Our boys, however, they know exactly who to ask and when to ask to give the highest probability of success. I’ve noticed this for a little while now. Typically they will ask the person who didn’t make a certain rule (such as no screens after dinner on a school night) if they want to break that rule (so they always ask my wife if they can have screens after dinner on a school night).
So they have learned to play the odds. They will also ask my wife to make them food, as they know she is the one who can cook and the food I make tastes gross. But they’ll ask me to play video games with them, because they know I’m awesome in that department.
They know who to ask for what, because they know us. They know what we are good at, and know what we will give them. Sometimes these kids seem to be too smart for their age (and other times the exact opposite).
My first thought in reading these passages is that the theme is prayer for this week. But as I continued reading, I see that they are more about the God to whom we pray.
The first reading tells us that God is merciful for the sake of a few. The Psalm tells us that God’s steadfast love lasts forever. The second reading tell us that God loves and saves us apart from understanding and tradition. And finally the gospel reading tells us that God is a much better father than I am as I would find it hilarious to give my kids a snake when they ask for a fish.
Our God, our merciful, loving, powerful, and good God, is the one we can trust to help us. This God is the one who we can rely on for strength and wisdom. This God is the one we pray to when we are in need, in distress, or just want to thank someone for the amazing things that happen on a daily basis. This is our God that we pray to, that we look to, that we can love back as God first loves us.
This is a God that I can pray to with my community and family, together in the name of Christ who shows us how to do so.
Thanks be to God! Have a great week, everyone!