THE SERVANT GENERAL
OUR THEME FOR 2019
COMPASSION, DISCIPLINE AND HOLINESS
February 6, 2019
Hebrews 12:4-7, 11-15
Psalm 103:1-2, 13-14, 17-18
The family home is a place of love, nurture and formation.
Parents are the first formators. The home is a small church.
The formation of children in the home is crucial to a fruitful
many parents are not aware or are neglectful of their task.
Many do not see the family as the first line in the formation
of the people of God. Many parents simply entrust the education
and formation of children to others, especially to schools.
Many cannot grasp that children can be well educated in the
home by ordinary parents. When Jesus began to teach in the
synagogue, people said, “Where did this man get all
this? What kind of wisdom has been given him? …. Is
he not the carpenter, the son of Mary ….” (Mk
indeed have a crucial responsibility for the formation of
their children. They love, care for and nurture them. Indeed,
“a father has compassion on his children” (Ps
103:13a). This means empathy, care, concern, solicitude, warmth,
love, gentleness, kindness, mercy. Together with compassion
comes discipline, which is crucial for the proper raising
of children. “For what ‘son’ is there whom
his father does not discipline?” (Heb 12:7b). In fact,
who can best give both compassion and discipline to children
than their own parents? Teachers in school certainly can only
give a limited bit of that.
we ourselves as parents are children of God. In the family
of God, the treatment of children is the same. “As a
father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion
on those who fear him.” (Ps 103:13). “For whom
the Lord loves, he disciplines; he scourges every son he acknowledges.
Endure your trials as ‘discipline’; God treats
you as sons.” (Heb 12:6-7a).
treating our own children in the same way God treats us, we
are mindful of the reality that our children are God’s
children, simply entrusted to us as earthly parents. We are
to form them according to God’s mind and heart. And
what is the purpose of compassion and discipline? It is to
bring “the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those
who are trained by it.” (Heb 12:11b). It is so that
as children of God, “we may share his holiness.”
home is the place where we experience the grace of God and
the love that keeps any form of bitterness away. “See
to it that no one be deprived of the grace of God, that no
bitter root spring up and cause trouble, through which many
may become defiled.” (Heb 12:15). The home is the place
where we recognize and live peace, being in right relationships
with others, beginning with our own relatives. “Strive
for peace with everyone” (Heb 12:14a). The home is the
place where we are to start to grow in holiness. All this
is to prepare us for heaven, by attaining to“that holiness
without which no one will see the Lord.” (Heb 12:14b).
between childhood in the human home and life eternal with
the family of God in heaven, there is mission. The family
and home are preparation for doing the work of God in the
world. This basic work is that of proclaiming the salvation
of Jesus. Such work is for us, for our children, and for our
descendants. We are to live out God’s covenant, and
we are to go forth and do His work. This is the way we help
bring God’s blessing upon ourselves and upon the world.
“His salvation is for the children’s children
of those who keep his covenant, and remember to carry out
his precepts.” (Ps 103:17b-18).