Scripture: Luke 11:5-13
5 And he said to them, "Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, `Friend, lend me three loaves; 6 for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him'; 7 and he will answer from within, `Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything'? 8 I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him whatever he needs. 9 And I tell you, Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 11 What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; 12 or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"
Meditation: What can we expect from God, especially when we recognize that he doesn't owe us anything and that we don't deserve his grace and favor? Jesus used the illustration of a late-night traveler to teach his listeners an important lesson about how God treats us in contrast to the kind of treatment we might expect from good neighbors. The rule of hospitality in biblical times required the cooperation of the entire community in entertaining an unexpected or late-night guest. Whether the guest was hungry or not, a meal would be served. In a small village it would be easy to know who had baked bread that day. Bread was essential for a meal because it served as a utensil for dipping and eating from the common dishes. Asking for bread from one's neighbor was both a common occurrence and an expected favor. To refuse to give bread would bring shame because it was a sign of in-hospitality.
If a neighbor can be imposed upon and coerced into giving bread
in the middle of the night, how much more hospitable is God, who,
no matter what the circumstances, is generous and ready to give us
what we need. Augustine of Hippo reminds us that "God, who does
not sleep and who awakens us from sleep that we may ask, gives
much more graciously."
In conclusion Jesus makes a startling claim: How much more will the heavenly Father give! The Lord is ever ready to give us not only what we need, but more than we can expect. He gives freely of his Holy Spirit that we may share in his life and joy. Do you approach your heavenly Father with confidence in his mercy and kindness?
"Heavenly Father, you are merciful, gracious and kind. May I never doubt your love nor hesitate to seek you with confidence in order to obtain the gifts, graces, and daily provision I need to live as your disciple and child."
1 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of
2 but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.
3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water, that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.
4 The wicked are not so, but are like chaff which the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
6 for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.
Daily Quote from the early church fathers: Ask by praying, seek by proper living, knock by persevering, by Bede the Venerable, 672-735 A.D."Desiring that we arrive at the joys of the heavenly kingdom, our Lord and Savior taught us to ask these joys of him and promised that he would give them to us if we asked for them. 'Ask,' he said, 'and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you.' Dearly beloved..., we earnestly and with our whole heart must ponder these words of our Lord. He bears witness that the kingdom of heaven is not given to, found by and opened to those who are idle and unoccupied but to those who ask for it, seek after it and knock at its gates. The gate of the kingdom must be asked for by praying. It must be sought after by living properly. It must be knocked at by persevering." (excerpt from HOMILIES ON THE GOSPEL OF LUKE 2.51.20)
Scripture quotations from Common Bible:
Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright
1973, and Ignatius Edition of the Revised Standard
Version of the Bible, copyright 2006, by the
Division of Christian Education of the National
Council of the Churches of Christ in the United
States of America. Used by permission. All rights
reserved. Citation references for quotes from
the writings of the early church fathers can be
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