What I really want to write about is the "life verse" practice. Each family had a verse picked out for the each child being dedicated. Not a bad practice. I suppose the verses are the hopes of those parents for those children. It led me to ask what I would cite for my children.
The immediate answer that came to mind was, "Weep with those who weep." As I sat there, I started thinking through that passage from Romans 12, realizing that I don't think I could do a life verse. I love context too much. It would have to be a life passage.
Here's the passage within some context:
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.I can't explain why this stands out to me, but as I sat there ruminating the text, I can to the conclusion that, yes, this is what I want for my boys. It's what I want to see in me. I don't think it's an idealistic picture of life. It's a call to really live.
Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.
Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation.
Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men.
If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.
Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.
“But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:14-21)
I'm not there. I hope to be. I hope my boys will be.
And just to be provocative: It's difficult to never pay back evil, to feed an enemy, and to overcome evil with good when pointing a gun at that enemy.