Revelation 2:28 – I will also give them the morning star. (GNB)
Seventy years after the birthday it was written to celebrate, I discovered a hand-written letter from a father to his son at college in 1929.
- Congratulations to you from your Mother and the other members of the family upon the attainment of your 20th Birthday. May your course through life be full of joy to yourself and others and when your own star shall set at life's close, may it set as the morning star that goeth not down behind the darkened west but melts away into the brightness of Heaven.
The father was not known as a poet — he was a Nova Scotia farmer who rose at 5:00 a.m. in starlight to care for the creatures in his charge. Watching his cattle gradually return from their evening pasture in the dew-rich orchard, I can imagine that the rising dawn and the morning star were a familiar and moving part of his day — possibly as moving as seeing his eldest child and namesake approach adulthood.
Accidentally discovering the letter exactly 70 years to the day that it was intended to be read causes me to reflect on why I would find this simple message on yellowed paper written by my grandfather just when my eldest son, away at college, in a few weeks is turning 20 himself. The coincidence moves me to ponder the lesson within these events, and reminds me of the loving parental kindness described throughout the Bible as an example of divine love, a love we see reflected in so many wonderful ways.
No card quite captures birthday wishes as well this year as the 70 year-old words. By e-mailing the same wish to our son, a cycle of love becomes complete and a new one begins. The wish to share God's love has come full circle. I realize that perhaps this same wish, often unstated, has passed through all generations of every family, and that it is carried from every loving parent to each child. I give thanks for loving parents who conveyed that wish in their own ways and who saved a letter, so that it would see a new dawn. Through the eyes of loving parents, we also learn that God's wish for us remains unchanged through all time: to glorify God, and to enjoy him for ever.
Prayer: Lord, although the means we use to convey our words of love may change, we thank you that the foundation of all love comes from your eternal love for us. We give you thanks for parents in every generation who, like bright mirrors, have reflected that love. Help us to shine with your love, so that others may also come to know the source of the greatest love in the world. Amen.