Gleanings – What Shall I Tell My Son(s)?

Exodus 13:3-10

“And you shall tell your son on that day, ‘It is because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt.’”

So each year, in a land flowing with milk and honey, the Israelites were to eat unleavened bread for seven days. They were to abstain from leavened bread in those same seven days. It is an event that will escape no one’s notice, giving up one and substituting the other.  And as the memorial is celebrated, fathers will tell their children “it is because of what the Lord did” that we remember. Once slaves, the people of God have been set free.

What if followers of Jesus did this each week as we mark the day of resurrection? What if we talked about what the Lord has done in our lives, how we, especially as fathers, came to be where we are?

First I would struggle with the whole age appropriate thing. Let’s assume for a moment I could get beyond that. What would I say? What MUST I say?

The truth is that I was for many years, at least 21, living a life meant to satisfy John. I worked hard but only to earn money to spend on John. I earned good grades (rarely as good as I could have earned) because they furthered my ability to earn money to spend on John and my gratification. I gave the appearance of honoring my parents but only to gain greater freedom to satisfy John. I wasn’t a liar but I did not guard the truth. I was a libertarian, meaning here I honored no constraints (save those that advanced John) and that I took a lot of liberties. The sins of my youth that I remember still keep me up at night. I’m blessed at my inability to remember the many others. I am not saying this for shock value. Truly, it is only the beginning of the truth. It well known among those close to me that my goal in life was to retire at 35. If I failed miserably I would retire at 40. Why? So I could do what I wanted whatever that was. My life was narcissistic, hedonistic, individualistic, and unaccountable. My life really had no guiding ethic other than to please John.

Then Jesus, who was ever present on the periphery, entered my time and space continuum in a radical way. He changed all that. He brought me rather abruptly to a place of realizing I was not the center of the world not even the center of my world. He showed me I did not control what I thought I controlled and certainly not anything that mattered. He showed me that peace and contentment were found in abandoning life, my life, my narcissistic, hedonistic, individualistic, and unaccountable life, and living it instead for the welfare of others. And He has spent the last 28 years trying to transform me from the old man into the new, with only moderate success through no fault of His own. No false modesty here! After all who could easily overcome all the habits, stinking thinking, and self-inflicted wounds, along with ample and well deserved guilt and shame for what my please John life heaped upon others! He’s so gracious though. He keeps trying.

This is what the Lord did for me when he brought me out of Egypt. This is what I must tell my son, my sons, at least if I want to begin with the truth.

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