I remember my Dad complaining about how the kids were so different from when he was a child. He didn’t like the music we were listening to, the clothes we wanted to wear, or the longer hairstyles of the 1960’s and ‘70’s.

One day, my dad charged into my bedroom and demanded that I “get that hard rock and roll off of that stereo right now!” The song playing at the time was new; It was Elton John’s Philadelphia Freedom.

When my son, Jonathan turned 18, he already had plans to move out and get his own place, then he later joined the U.S. Army and served in southeastern Afghanistan.

Now he is home and has two girls and a boy of his own. I remember thinking that I couldn’t understand why he liked some of the music he did. I didn’t always think he made the best decisions. I wanted to protect him from the realities of life. But I also wanted him to be himself. He has become a hard-working man and a good father.

It would seem the patterns of parenting are pretty much the same as they have always been.

Our parents didn’t always approve of our decisions, and we don’t always approve of our kids, or grandkids decisions. Their lives will unfold with or without our approval, and we can only provide advice and guidance as far as they will accept it.

Most of the time, I find it best to stay out of their personal lives after a certain point, and trust that they have a good foundation to work from.

If we think of God as our Parent, no matter how young or old we are, we know that God truly loves us and cares about our lives on earth.

Jesus said: “You parents – if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! If you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.” (Matthew 7:9-11, NRSV)

I am sure God gets frustrated with all of us at some point. Even so, our loving Parent will never give-up on us. God will continue to love us, no matter what. There may be times when we bring a tear to God’s eyes, but God will always love us and be ready to forgive us and move-on.

Sometimes we need a family reunion to remind us how blessed we are. The family of God meets to hear the Holy Scriptures read, the Gospel message preached, and to gather at the Lord’s Table to share the most holy meal of all time.

The family of God at St. Andrew’s meets every Sunday at 10 a.m. to celebrate the love of God and the gifts of fellowship. Join us. You will be loved.

Blessings and Peace to you,

Fr. David+

Rev. Dr. David Bridges is the pastor at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Grove. He can be reached at frdavid@standrewsgrove.org.