Last week, my son Nick asked me to preach the sermon for his ‘institution’ as senior rector. (Nick’s new post takes he and wife Meg from Austin Texas to head a dynamic Anglican ‘Church of the Apostles’ in Raleigh, North Carolina.) A privilege and unexpected honor. Nick’s invitation was like a kiss from the Father.
One woman reflected: ‘It felt like you invited us into a father-son confirmation, just the two of you. We were in your living room, eavesdroppers, catching the wisdom of your years.’ A man from Living Waters said poignantly: ‘I’ve listened in silence for a father’s guidance; my dad didn’t have it to give. Through some healing, I am still open to wisdom from the occasional trustworthy man. It gave me hope to witness your exchange. It will serve the church well. I’m glad you poured into Nick.’
Not a hard son to pour into. He is grounded, humble/confident, and a whip-smart leader. He has respected his senior leaders over the last decade of associate pastoring. Mostly though, he cares for people; he dignifies them by serving and summoning them to take their place alongside him to build the Church. Check out the ‘institution’ service.
Many of us are painfully aware of the gaps in our families-of-origin. We can recite the ‘sins of the fathers’ but exclude the blessings. To be sure, Scripture points out how generational secrets and lies can dispose us to idolatry. Mightier still is the promise of untold blessing for the faithful. The good we sow into our children has power to supplant weeds and inclines them to become oaks of righteousness.
Proud of you Nick. You display the Lord’s splendor (Is. 61:3).
‘You shall not…worship idols, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sins of the fathers to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love Me and keep My commandments’ (Ex. 20:5,6).