My child the killer

(Recent documentary on TV:, called ‘My Child :The Killer’)

was the story of Father who blamed himself for the way in which his child turned out to be a violent killer, 27 life sentences….

…The father blamed himself entirely for his son's downfall, by showing favouritism to his other child, by being too hard with his discipline; not showing enough love…not spending quality time with him, and by the father's own admission, causing the break up of his marriage by adultery…

he blamed himself directly for the murders his son had committed, wheras in fact, this wasn't true, drugs had destroyed his son's mind.

The father was indirectly responsible, for it was his selfishness and thoughtlessness that had sent his son on the road to despair, and insecurity, seeking the attention he craved.

It's not easy being a parent; it's awesome! No-one ever tells you how to be a good parent; quite often bad habits are passed down from parent to children, and children in turn can imitate the bad habits when they become parents.

Through his tears of regret and remorse, this father was trying to warn other parents not to do as he had done.

It was a very sad programme,

The gospel reading tells of another parent whose son has lost the plot, and has got himself into trouble.

This father has been indulgent, too generous with his money, he seems to have favoured one child over his other child, but we find at the end this is not true!

The difference is, he has not given up hope; he keeps a constant look out from the rooftops for his son's return, and when he sees him returning home, he picks up his long robes and runs to greet him, and restore his fortunes; then his other son creates!

Try and picture the parent in the documentary as the child returns home, and God as the father who is there ready to forgive.

Nothing, and no-one is hopeless in God's eyes! He is constantly on the look out for our return to him.

Here is hope… that in putting our own lives straight, and coming to know something of God's very real and constant love for us, we can better help others to know the way; through our example and by our prayers.

When parents bring their child to be baptized, to be brought into the Christian faith, we see how important the church believes the promises are that we are called to make those children we bring.

Parents are asked to promise that they will support their children as Christians,

They are asked to lead them in the faith by their own example,

They are asked to pray for them and care for them, and lead them to love and worship God in the company of other Christians here in church.

The church asks parents to fulfil these promises, but not only that, they hope that God will do a new work in them too.

Unless we lead new lives, how can we expect our children to follow?