Agape: March 28, 2020

Agape: The 2020 Lenten Devotional for St. Paul's Episcopal Church

“In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.” -1 John 4:10

I could write you a very lengthy list of all the ways that my love falls short of the Gospel message, should you have the time and inclination to read it. Out of everything on that list, however, the expression of love that I cannot imagine, let alone emulate, is sending my children (or grandchildren) into the world as an atoning sacrifice for my sins. But seeing as how the sins of the fathers are visited upon the sons (and daughters), isn’t this essentially what we do as parents?

The hard truth is that if we ever hope to bring about the kingdom of God on Earth, what choice do we have? And what choice do our children have if not to atone in some way for the sins of their parents’ generation? It’s either that or learn to live with those sins — and I hope for the sake of my children’s children that they don’t make that choice. Rather than dwell on the sacrificial nature of this passage from 1 John in an Abrahamic sense, I find greater comfort and hope in a line passage from a pop culture icon of my youth, Khalil Gibran:

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.

Lord, thank you for the blessings that are my children and grandchildren. Keep me ever mindful that our children come through us, but not from us. That they are with us, but do not belong to us. They are in your hands, as are all things , and we ask your blessing upon them. Amen.
-Michael Boss