‘Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.’ Colossians 3:21
John the Baptist was the forerunner for the coming of the long expected Messiah, and when his birth was announced, the angel told that his task would be ‘to make ready a people prepared for the Lord’. Even before John would be born, he would be filled with the Holy Spirit. The angel said that John the Baptist would go on before the Lord in the Spirit and power of Elijah. So he was to be a very great man, of whom Jesus later testified that no one had risen greater than him (Matthew 11:11).
Today’s message is worded very clearly in verse 17, where it says how John the Baptist will make ready a people prepared for the Lord, namely by ‘turning the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous’ (:17).
These days - when so many parents are so busy building their careers, when they spend their leisure time making more money or indulging in all sorts of hobbies - it is high time for someone to rise in the spirit and power of Elijah, to call upon all parents who call themselves Christian to repent, and to accept the tremendous task of devoting themselves wholeheartedly to the children, with whom God has entrusted them. When broken relations between parents and children are healed, what recovery will then be possible for the children. How the children will then be able to develop into harmonious people, who in their childhood have been provided with a sound basis for making the right choices, time and again, in a fast changing world.
Where God’s Spirit reigns supreme, all weariness and bitterness will disappear and we will take heart to face the future.