Sunday, May 20, 2007
This is a cake! Laurie made this birthday cake for one of our son's who just turned 5. She got the idea from Family Fun magazine. It looked even better in person. People thought it was a real treasure chest. It was delicious. In case it was not clear our son wanted a pirate party. We did not like the idea of honoring something evil like pirates so we made up a story in which the kids wanted to reach pirates for Jesus so they had to dress like pirates and do "pirate-like" things in order to reach them. It worked.
James 5:16 - Therefore, (AO)confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be (AP)healed (AQ)The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.
I was thinking of this passage recently and noticed in myself a man-centered tendency in which I interpret this verse to mean that somehow the "righteous man" is the key, the powerholder, as if he has the power. But as soon as I think that I also think it sounds crazy, for the power must come from God. As I was trying to reconcile this a story came to mind...
There once was a father and a son who loved each other very much. One would not be wrong to describe them as delighting in each other. They were together all the time. Whatever the father said to do the son obeyed. The son spent so much time with his father that he began to know what the father wanted in most situations and would act accordingly. When he went against his father, he felt awful and would run to his father crying. His father always forgave his son and restored the joy to their relationship.
The father was very wealthy and very generous and the son often asked him for things. Sometimes the father said yes and sometimes he said no. As the boy grew he saw more and more how wise his father was. He often thanked his father for the times he had given no as an answer to one of the boy's requests. When he was older the boy received less no's because he had learned from his father what was good for him and what was not. He asked less and less often for the things of which he knew his father would not approve; he had learned he was happier not having them.
The boy had brothers and sisters, and he amazed them. They did not know what made him so special. It seemed like everything he asked their father for, he received. They did not get the same results. Many of them assumed it was because he never "messed up". They figured there must be something about not "messing up" that gives one special privileges, and so they worked hard to not mess up. They were frustrated more often than not. The boy tried to tell them that it was not about his righteousness, but about being with the father, but most of them could not understand what he was saying.