When I look back over my life I see so many people who played an important role in my becoming who I am today. Some of them taught me about life, some shared with me stories that made me feel more human, and some showed me how God loves us by mirroring that unconditional love, even if it was imperfectly. At the top of the list of these influential people certainly are my parents, my teachers, my pastors, and now even my wife. I often tell my children that in many ways we are the sum of our experiences and certainly the experiences of family and friendship craft us profoundly. These people are gifts. Plain and simple, they are some of the greatest gifts God will ever give to each of us. The commandment to honor thy mother and father has much greater implications for us than simply the need for us to obey parents or authority. Inherent in the commandment is the need for respect of anyone God has given to us in this life to mold and shape us. By honoring God’s gift to us, we honor the One who created them. Jesus received more at his birth than the gifts from the Magi. He received two earthly parents to care for him. They were certainly gifts worth more than any precious metals or oil. The story of the wedding feast in Cana speaks of his response to those gifts, particularly his mother. It was out of honor that he complied with Mary’s request. One could say it was his great sense of stewardship that compelled him to honor the gift he had been given. By his actions, he gave us an example of how we must honor God’s gifts of our loved ones. At the end of the day, these gifts are more valuable than a gift any earthly king might offer.
Tracy Earl Welliver, MTS