Honour Your Fathers

Honour Your Fathers

7 December 2006

"Honour your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you." (Exodus 20.12)

"Honour your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise) that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth." (Ephesians 6.2-3)

The greater part of this year of 06 has for us been concerned with honouring Penny's mother and father. This we have endeavoured to do by supporting them both through her father David's faith-filled suffering and dying with motor neurone disease.

We have also been fortunate this year to be able to get across the Tasman Sea to Sydney twice to spend time with my father and mother as they cope valiantly with all of the challenges and trials which go along with living into your 80s.

We recently (late November) spent a few hours visiting Southern Star Abbey in the central Hawkes Bay, which was my home in the early 70s. On this occasion (we last visited in mid February) I spent quite a time at the cemetery. Most of my closest friends from those days are now with the Lord; their bodies are "sleeping" at Kopua...waiting for the Lord's return, the last trumpet and the Day of Resurrection. (1 Corinthians 15)


While standing in the graveyard in the profound peace which saturates the monastery, I thanked God and honoured the fathers He gave me back then. I thanked the Lord for:


  • Father Basil, who took the time when I first visited in 1971 to find out why I was there; he later made it possible for me to return and eventually live in the novitiate.
  • Brother Martin, who kept me supplied with fresh fruit and some extra food during the months when I lived by myself in a wattle shed out in the back of the abbey's apple orchard.
  • Father Benedict, the novice master who seemed to toil 24/7 to help me try to be a monk.
  • Father Maurus, the real hermit who always managed to appear as if he had absolutely nothing else to do but talk to me, who was then a verbose, spiritual infant.

The list could go on. I honour these men for being good fathers, and thank God for putting them in my way.

"I do not write these things to shame you, but to admonish you as my beloved children. For if you were to have countless tutors in Christ, yet you would not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. I exhort you therefore, be imitators of me." (1 Corinthians 4.14-16)