Another fire – gun control in light of the school shooting in Florida. Protests have been orchestrated in several cities across the nation and the media has dutifully done their best to sensationalize emotions that run high after such a tragedy. Perspective is a tough thing to maintain in this age of media mania. Auto accidents continue to be the leading cause of death for 15-20-yearolds but there are no protests around that issue. Second is suicide.
Opinions are many – New laws should be drafted; Old laws should be enforced more effectively; ‘Doing something is better than doing nothing’ is the mantra even when that something does nothing. Arguments can get so heated over these topics that rational discussions around real issues get drown out. One real issue is responsibility on the home front - That rests square on our shoulders as dads. A couple of suggestions that would have an immediate impact on the safety of kids include: Taking responsibility to commit time to teach kids how to drive versus abdicating it out to a third party - This reminds both dads & kids of all the hazards of the road; and Committing time to read and discuss “The Delusion” together as a family – This is a compelling story by Laura Gallier that provides powerful insight behind the epidemic of suicide among students today.
The fire on the altar must be kept burning; it must not go out. Every morning the priest is to add firewood and arrange the burnt offering on the fire and burn the fat of the fellowship offerings on it. The fire must be kept burning on the altar continuously; it must not go out. – Leviticus 6:12-13. Altars in OT times were built to remember Who God is and what He had done. They served as reminders across the generations. Today the altar could be analogous to the home, a place where we remember Who Jesus is and what He has done for us. The fire is God – He spoke to Moses through the burning bush; led the Israelites out of Egypt with a pillar of cloud by day and fire by night; and tongues of fire filled the apostles with the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. The fire in our homes must be our personal and passionate relationship with Jesus the Christ lived in marriage. The priest of the home is dad and ‘adding firewood and arranging the burnt offering’ requires his presence, involvement, consistency and awareness of goings on in the home and in the kids’ lives. Twice our Lord says the fire “must not go out.” Our relationship with Jesus the Christ is to be contagious through the generations.
In his hit song, “We Didn’t Start the Fire” Billy Joel writes, “We didn’t start the fire. It was always burning since the world’s been turning. We didn’t start the fire. No, we didn’t light it but we tried to fight it.” It is time to pay attention to the right Fire. Accepting responsibility to lead spiritually by example versus abdicating everything spiritual to the church keeps the fire of our relationship with Jesus the Christ burning in the home and through generations that follow. It “must not go out.”
Prayer guide: Lord, thank You for speaking thorough the burning bush, for leading the Israelites out of Egypt with a pillar of fire by night and for filling the apostles with the Holy Spirit through tongues of fire at Pentecost. Thank You for the home and family You have blessed me with. Grant me discernment that keeps the home positioned as an altar to You, where the fire of my relationship with You radiates through marriage, family and generations to follow. Amen.
A faithful father keeps the fire for Jesus the Christ burning in the home.