Good Morning, Lord!

Readings for July 4, 2021: Sixth Sunday after Pentecost

Ezekiel 2:1-5; Psalm 123; 2 Corinthians 12:1-10; Mark 6:1-13

 [God] said to me, “Son of man, stand up on your feet and I will speak to you.” As he spoke, the Spirit came into me and raised me to my feet, and I heard him speaking to me. Ezekiel 2:1-2

When I was actively serving in children’s ministry, there was a song we taught the children called Good Morning Lord. It went like this:

Good morning, Lord. It’s a beautiful day.

Good morning, Lord. I’m going your way.

Open my eyes and let me see someone who needs a friend like me.

I know that I can surely be loving, caring, always sharing.

Good morning, Lord. It’s a beautiful day.

Good morning, Lord. I’m going your way.

I always liked this song as it reinforces our need, as God’s people, to help and love others. What a great lesson to instill in our children. However, over the years, as I have sung this little ditty as a personal song of praise, I have found there’s something that just doesn’t sit right.

Although I do desire to have my eyes open to see someone in need, I do not know that I can always be loving, caring, sharing, and give these people what they need. In fact, I know I cannot! It is only with the help of the Holy Spirit that I can be loving, caring, and sharing, let alone ‘always sharing’. Yes, only with the power of the Holy Spirit working in me can I be whom God needs me to be.

I then began to think about the burden we set on our children. Telling them that this is how they are to be but with the command that expects them to always be loving, caring and sharing. But what about when they fail? And they will fail. Oh the burden of our inability to live and be all that God desires for us to do and be. Perhaps they may feel the need to put on a ‘perfect’ façade because they’re ashamed of their failure. Or worse, they make excuses and judge others in order to justify their inabilities and failures. No, the full lesson we teach our children, in and of themselves, should not be that they can and should be the perfect children and helpers to others.  

Instead, the lesson should be that despite our inabilities and sinfulness, God can and does, through the Holy Spirit, strengthen us and give us what we need to help and love those he leads us to; those things which he has prepared in advance for us to do. Just like in today’s passage, when God called Ezekiel and told him to stand, he didn’t wait for Ezekiel to fumble his way to his feet. In reality, the Holy Spirit did all the work. The Holy Spirit lifted Ezekiel to his feet. It doesn’t even say that Ezekiel was an active participant. It just implies that he was attentively listening to what God was saying and God was doing all the work. Wow! To have it be God’s power working in us to fulfill his desires. No, it’s not about me being left to myself to do what I know God would want from me, but God working in me. What a burden lifted! What a freedom! What a privilege!

Yes, besides loving and caring for others, this is the lesson we need to teach our children. This example of humility and the awareness of our own weaknesses due to sin in us that has us give thanks to Jesus, our Saviour, for all he has done for us, is what’s important. It is living out the reality of the Holy Spirit within us to be his lights in the world that we need to teach our children.

If we started living our lives and raising our children with this humble reality and need for our Lord, then perhaps the heaviness our sins and guilt, of which we are so aware, would not cause so many people to turn away from the Lord, thinking that to be his child is unachievable. But instead, it would redirect our thinking from focussing on all our doing to focussing on and trusting God’s power in us. What an awesome lesson and truth about God to teach our children.

Therefore, to ease my conscience, I have rewritten the lyrics of Good morning Lord to reflect these truths.

Good morning, Lord. It’s a beautiful day.

Good morning, Lord. I want to go your way.

Open my eyes and let me see someone who needs a friend like me.

Holy Spirit help me be loving, caring, always sharing.

Good morning Lord. It’s a beautiful day.

Good morning Lord. Help me go your way.

Prayer: Good morning Lord, it’s a beautiful day. Good morning Lord. I want to go your way. On my own I am unworthy and incapable of answering your call to love others. Forgive me and help me to turn to you for your strength. Only in you can I be all that you would have me be. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN!

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