GOD COMMANDS US TO PRESERVE LIFE.
Bible Reading of the Day: Read Genesis 9:1, 5-6.
Verse of the Day: “To kill a person is to kill a living being made in God’s image” (Genesis 9:6).
Dad entered through the back door by the garage. Mom and Candi sat at the kitchen table eating breakfast together.
“You’re home!” Mom said. She stood and helped Dad take off his police jacket, which bore large yellow letters on the back spelling CHAPLAIN. “Is everything OK?”
Dad volunteered as a chaplain to the city’s police department and spent several nights a month riding in a cruiser with a police officer. Usually he got home in the middle of the night, but this night he was much later than usual. He slumped onto one of the kitchen chairs and rubbed his face with both hands. He looked very tired and sad. “There was a shooting last night,” he said.
“Oh no,” Mom said, sitting down beside Dad and rubbing his shoulder with one hand.
“What happened, Daddy?” Candi asked.
Dad shook his head slowly, then held out his hands to his daughter, who slid out of her chair and onto his lap. “Two boys got into an argument, Candi. One had a gun, and now the other one’s dead.”
“Did you know the boys, Daddy?”
“No, I didn’t know them,” he answered.
“Then why are you sad?” Candi asked.
Dad’s lip started to quiver. He was crying.
Mom tried to answer Candi’s question. “Daddy’s sad because . . . because he doesn’t like for anyone to die. None of us do.” She thrust her hands under Candi’s arms, lifted her off Dad’s lap, and set her feet down on the kitchen floor. “Life is so precious, Candi; it’s a gift from God. And someone who takes another person’s life is destroying the most beautiful part of God’s creation. That’s why God commanded us not to kill, because every human being is made in the image of God.”
Candi glanced shyly at her father, concern written on her face. “I wouldn’t like it if somebody hurt something I made,” she said solemnly.
Mom’s eyes filled with tears. “That’s right,” she said, hugging her daughter. “And especially not if it was the most precious, priceless thing you’d ever created.”
Mom whispered in her daughter’s ear, and Candi tiptoed off to get ready for school. Then Mom knelt on the kitchen floor in front of her husband and wrapped her arms around him. And they held each other in the early morning quiet of the kitchen.
TO DISCUSS: Today’s reading calls human life “the most beautiful part of God’s creation.” Do you think that’s true? If so, why? Why does God command us to preserve life? (Hint: Genesis 9:6 gives a good clue.)
TO PRAY: “God, you’ve shown us that life is a precious gift. Help us to preserve and protect our own lives and those of others.”