The great Danish philosopher and theologian Soren Kierkegaard tells a story of an emperor touring his kingdom and receiving the accolades of his people. When the entourage reached the market square of one village, his carriage was surrounded by cheering villagers and peasants. To the amazement of his neighbors, one brash young farmer stepped out of the crowd and approached the emperor’s carriage. “Give me a blessing, Sire,” he pleaded. “Grant me a special blessing.” The villagers were amazed at what he asked, but even more amazed at the answer he received. “Of course, my good man,” the emperor said. “Get into my carriage. Come with me. Live in my palace. Eat at my table. Marry my daughter. Be my Son-in-law.” The young man exclaimed his delight: “To be the emperor’s Son-in-law!”
Then he began to think about it, and all that means. No more Saturday nights at the pub with his friends. No more dirty, comfortable peasant clothes. He’d have to dress up. He’d have to take a bath – maybe even once a week. He’d have to clean his fingernails. He’d have to learn the good manners of the court. He had to change his whole life. And so his unthinking delight, turned into a realistic despair as he sadly lowered his eyes and shook his head and said, “No, Sire. I would be too uncomfortable. It would pull me out of my customs. It would be too hard to live up to. It would take too much of me. If you want to do something for me, just give me a plot of ground, a farm, a house of my own, but to live in your palace, eat at your table, be your Son-in-law – this sounds too much.” So, he declined it.
The point is that the man wanted the emperor’s blessing, but not the responsibilities that goes with it. He wanted to be blessed in doing what he wanted – not what the emperor expected of him. In this Lenten season let us be reminded that with blessing comes responsibility.
Scripture Reading: Luke 12:48
“From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded.”
What has God entrusted to you?
What does God expect from you?
Who needs a blessing from you?
Prayer: Holy God, help me delight in all the blessings I receive and expect more of me. Amen
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