“Mommy, you have sat by Pippa a lot and I would like you to sit by me,” Dash asks as we sit down for dinner and he sees that I am sitting across from him at the table. Here begin the regular negotiations we have regarding family dinner and which parent sits by which child. As laborious as these negotiations often are, I can’t wait until the kids want to sit by each other and I can sit by Brennan again at dinner.
I remember a time as a child when I was the one asking, “when is it my turn?” Part of the family habits my parents established with my brothers and I were family devotions. We had a regular time and rotation so that, when it was your turn, you got to select the topic for reading, discussion, and prayer. I’m sure we utilized a handful of different resources but the ones I remember most are the Psalms and Character Sketches.
Like many children who very quickly develop favorite things, I think my brothers could probably guess when it was my turn that I was going to pick either Psalm 8 or 24. I’m not sure why as a child I picked these to be my favorites, but I know as an adult the majesty and glory of the King of the universe is something that still amazes me. Last night a friend and I were spending some time together to read and reflect on Psalm 24. And the Holy Spirit gave me a new perspective I’d like to share with you. (If you haven’t read it recently, consider reading Psalm 24.)
Everything on earth is under God’s command and it is by His power that order exists and remains (v 1-2). He could have used His power to do anything. Anything. And yet we know, He used His power it to choose us by sending Jesus as the fulfillment of His love for His creation. He committed Jesus to death for us. Jesus did battle with Satan and emerged victorious for us. The Holy Spirit remains with us to point us to Him. Through Christ, we have clean hands and pure heart (v. 3-5), allowing us to stand with Him in holy places (v. 3-5). So that we can be among the generations who seek Him (v. 6). If, as the Holy Spirit is as work in us, these truths change our hearts and become a part of our thinking and wonder regarding God and His great love for us, word by word and phrase by phrase, how can we not respond in praise (v. 7-10)?
As I write this and read through it again, my breath catches in my throat because I realize the days are long, but the time is short as parents. When my children are no longer interested in sitting by me at dinner, I will be asking them, “when is it my turn?”
You and I have a Heavenly Father who created all things for the purpose of love. He does not see us through the choices we make. But through the choice that was made for us by Jesus. As ones who have received righteousness. We are always chosen by Him. It is always our turn to sit beside our King. Because unlike us in our humanity, His never-ending, never-changing, ever-available love and presence is able to be shared an infinite number of times. That’s what it means to be a begetting God. It’s also what it means to be a child of God whose love is meant to reproduce in us and to be given to the world around us.
Will you join me in praying as Paul did for the Ephesians?
14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.Eph. 3:14-21