The Command to Honor Your Father and Your Mother

The Command to Honor Your Father and Your Mother

The fifth commandment is “Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you” (Exodus 20:12).

The context of the Exodus story is concerned with future generations remembering the miracle of liberation. It is written with an invitation for children to marvel at the way God creates a people from scratch. You find phrases like “when your children ask you” and “from generation to generation” scattered throughout the narrative. The fifth commandment instructs the young, yet mature, adults with aging parents to honor their mothers and fathers so that their lives in the land will be long.

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Recovering Our Identity as People of Trinity

Recovering Our Identity as People of Trinity

My friend Dean Blevins presented a paper at Trevecca Nazarene University titled “Global Pedagogy: A Table Conversation.” He discussed three current ways of teaching, conversing with, and shaping the coming generations (the first two are found in Benjamin Barber’s Jihad vs. McWorld: How Globalism and Tribalism Are Reshaping the World; the third is Blevins’ response to them).

1. “McWorld” is the attempt to standardize culture through consumption of goods.

Companies portray their products as generic, but they contain cultural and theological assumptions. Marketing these goods persuasively convinces people that the quality of their life is rooted in the consumption of these goods.

Images and slogans reduce persons to passive consumers. The assumption is “one size fits all.” There is only one way to think about life and one product that delivers that life to the willing consumers.

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Faithful to the Promise

Faithful to the Promise

One of my favorite words in the Bible is the Hebrew word chesed. It is the term for covenant faithfulness, loyalty. I always talk about chesed at weddings. A relationship is beginning that will be severely tested. I want the couple to know that God is establishing chesed between them. It means that each of them has the right to expect certain behavior from the other in light of the promises they are making on this day.

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A Rainbow in the Clouds: Sign of God’s Covenant

A Rainbow in the Clouds: Sign of God’s Covenant

God emerges from the Flood in Genesis 9 offering covenant with a beautiful picture in the sky. “When the rainbow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant” (Genesis 9:16, NRSV). The God whose heart was moving away from his creation is now moving toward it. Five times the narrator presents a God who says, “Never again.”

I’ve said those words plenty of times to God. As a young teen, I beat a path to the altar of the local Nazarene church. I think I owe them for carpet. Each time I’d promise God never to do again the thing I promised last time never to do again. I became eloquent in my promises. Each “never again” had to be equal to or better than the last one. Certainly God was recording these. I promised to read my Bible every day, and to pray. I promised to witness to Dickie Bennett. I promised to stop thinking sexually about girls. I promised to study harder and make an A in algebra. I promised to treat my sisters kinder.

All eloquent promises. All eloquently broken.

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