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September 4

Exodus 20, 12

Something to read

Honour your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
New Revised Standard Version

To read the King James Version, click here

Something to think about

'When I was 14 my father was so ignorant I could hardly bear him, but by the time I was 21 I was amazed to see how much he had learned in seven years.' Mark Twain

I am fortunate to have a very good relationship with both my parents, who I have known throughout my life, and who have been a constant source of love and support.

However, I realise this is not the case for many. The Bible is very realistic in its depiction of family life, and although family can be the source of wonderful blessings, it can also be the place of our deepest hurts.

However, the fifth commandment is foundational to commandments six to ten, as the first commandment is foundational to two to four. To Yahweh, the relationship with parents is the beginning of society.

John Durham writes, ‘The first relationship beyond the relationship with Yahweh, who is the giver of life, is the relationship to father and mother, who together are the channel of Yahweh’s gift of life.’

So if we can, let us honour our parents by accepting them, acknowledging them and affirming them – even in their absence for those whose parents have died.

Something to do

Make a special effort to honour your parents this week – write to them (not email or text), send them a gift, visit them unexpectedly – say something very affirming and affectionate to them.

If your parents have died, find some appropriate way to honour them in their absence – place some flowers at their grave, talk about them with a friend, or write a tribute.

Something to pray

For the joy of human love
Brother, sister, parent, child
Friends on earth and friends above
For all gentle thoughts and mild
Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise
Folliot Sandford Pierpoint

Today’s contributor is the Rev Jeremy Allcock, Vicar of St Stephen’s, Westbourne Park, west London, and Area Dean of Paddington.


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