In a house, there is dirty laundry and trash to take out, dust behind the pictures on the coffee table, a few stains on the carpet and an entry way full of shoes. Kids are running everywhere and there’s balls scattered amid the cardboard forts, big wheel racetracks and toy guns that will be used later to defend the make-believe enemies of this pseudo Camelot. Somewhere in the chaos of a house, there is life that can only be described as my home or yours.
Remember the Law of Moses my servant, which I commanded him on Horeb for all Israel, the precepts and the judgments.
Behold, I will send to you Elijah the prophet, before the arrival of the great and terrible day of the Lord.
And he will turn the heart of the fathers to the sons, and the heart of the sons to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a detestable curse. [Malachi]
Not that I am a doomsday theorist by any means; but, isn’t it unique that the last 3 verses of the old testament, roughly 1,000 years since Moses and 450 years till John the Baptist prepares the way in the days before Christ, that these are the words we are left with.
“The hearts of fathers to their sons and the hearts of sons to their fathers”. This must be an important concept! And most emphatically, we are not to forget the words of Moses!
Place these words of mine in your hearts and minds, and hang them as a sign on your hands, and arrange them between your eyes.
Teach your sons to meditate on them, when you sit in your house, and when you walk along the way, and when you lie down or rise up.
You shall write them upon the doorposts and the gates of your house, [Deuteronomy]
We pray these words across all lines of faith, “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done….”. We have been given direction and purpose, we are emphatically told to raise our children up in a specific manner and Christ “stamps” the agenda with these words regarding our spiritual roots. Is this an “order”, may it never be, we are given the right and the will to choose. Our purpose is pretty clear.
“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it. Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” [Matthew]
There is a “Brooks and Dunn” song out there called “Red Dirt Road”, the chorus goes like this:
It’s where I drank my first beer.
It’s where I found Jesus.
Where I wrecked my first car:
I tore it all to pieces.
I learned the path to Heaven,
Is full of sinners an’ believers.
Learned that happiness on earth,
Ain’t just for high achievers.
I’ve learned; I come to know,
There’s life at both ends,
Of that red dirt road.
Now I wasn’t raised on “Red Dirt”, it was actually kind of a sandy bottom country where I grew up, but, I remember the man who had the most influence on my life, and “he lived like Jesus”. He had integrity, he was tough and he loved, he lived an everyday life full of ups and downs and he talked about the real things of life and how a man should act. He had made a decision to live his life much like “Jean Valjean’ in Victor Hugo’s, Les Miserables, “to love another person is to see the face of God”. I was lucky to have such an influence because he left an impression that was as deep as that red dirt. In the movie Grand Torino, Clint Eastwood makes this statement to the priest he calls Padre. “The things that haunts a man the most, are the things he isn’t ordered to do?” Ain’t it true?