Train Up A Child

Friday, November 7, 1997

Acts 3:19 – Repent, then, and turn to God, so that he will forgive your sin.

I was thrilled with a recent episode of the TV Series "Seventh Heaven". It was the story of what happened in a clergy family home when a container of marijuana "pot" was found in the house. This caused a major storm. At first almost everyone was a suspect. As events turned out, the oldest son, Matthew, became the main suspect. When confronted by his parents a violent argument developed. His mother was easier on him than his father; more understanding. She had experimented with drugs as a young girl but kicked the habit in a hurry when, as she put it, a friend was killed in a traffic accident after a party where they were all "stoned."

As the fury increased and accusations flew back and forth, Matthew grabbed the marijuana and stormed out of the house to join some friends on their way to a party. This left the rest of the family in a frustrated shambles but with Matthew no less deeply disturbed. As the partygoers drove along in the dark he became increasingly agitated. .He began to insist that his friends stop and let him out. Eventually they did. We see him trudging away on his own.

Meanwhile a measure of order returned to the home. Leaving the younger children with their older sister the ruffled parents went for a walk to simmer down. The walk ended up at their church. As they entered they were astounded to see Matthew there alone in a front pew. They froze in their tracks. In the peace and silence of the bright and beautiful sanctuary they waited. Then they heard it; a completely unvarnished confession addressed directly to God. The words were slow, measured and honest. Here was a genuine repentance; a real turning to God.

Moments later they were all huddled together hugging and crying; their hearts filled with joy. Once again there would be joy, not only in heaven but also in a family circle as one more sinner repented.

Prayer: Most gracious God, our Father in heaven God, how good it is to see your truth in action even in a television story. We thank you that you are always ready to receive us and forgive us even as we saw love and forgiveness win out in that television drama. Help us all to realize that there is always a right way out of even our worst situations. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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Grant Muir

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