Original photo by David Berkowitz
Daily Reformation, Exodus 20:1-17
From the Reformer
We must, therefore impress it upon the young that they should regard their parents as in God’s stead, and remember that however lowly, poor, frail, and queer they may be, nevertheless they are father and mother given them by God. They are not to be deprived of their honor because of their conduct or their failings. Therefore we are not to regard their persons, how they may be, but the will of God who has thus created and ordained. In other respects we are, indeed, all alike in the eyes of God; but among us there must necessarily be such inequality and ordered difference, and therefore God commands it to be observed, that you obey me as your father, and that I have the supremacy.
—Martin Luther, Large Catechism
Pulling It Together
Honoring one’s parents is much like the teaching of Paul in Philippians to consider others as better than yourself (Phil 2:3), someone to be served (Phil 2:7). Who should be served more than parent? There is no one who is granted more honor except God. Yet children (of all ages) are admonished to serve their parents, in a manner, to learn to love and obey God. One way we serve our heavenly Father is by obeying his command to honor our earthly parents. To the degree that this earthly service is lacking, to that degree does one’s obedience to God suffer.
© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reformation: Devotions with the Reformers