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Sunday, June 4, 2017

Be Like Your Heavenly Father

While Jaws is probably not a movie from which you might expect to get any spiritual inspiration, there is one very tender scene in the movie that brings to my mind a verse from Paul's letter to the Ephesians. In this particular scene, Amity police chief Martin Brody is sitting across the table from his youngest son. Brody is troubled over the problems he is dealing with concerning a great white shark that is terrorizing the beaches of Amity. As he sits at the table deep in thought, Brody has his chin propped up on one fist. Although Brody doesn't notice, his son sits across from him doing exactly the same thing. Brody then picks up his glass, takes a sip, clasps both hands together under his chin, then puts his face in his hands. Each action is imitated by this little boy who obviously loves his dad and wants to be just like him. When Brody finally notices what his son is doing, his countenance changes and he asks his little boy for a kiss because he "needs it."

This scene brings to mind Ephesians 5:1, which tells us that, as dearly loved children of God, we should follow the example of our heavenly Father, or be imitators of Him. How can we be imitators of God? We can walk in love, loving as Christ loved us (Ephesians 5:2), with a sacrificial love that puts others before self. We can be merciful, in the same way that our heavenly Father is merciful (Luke 6:36), showing compassion to others and being willing to forgive those who have hurt or offended us. We can be faithful in all that we do and in all our relationships, just as our God has been faithful to all of us (Psalm 57:10).

Just like Brody's son wanted to be just like his dad, our goal should be to strive to be just like our heavenly Father, aspiring to be perfect, just as He is (Matthew 5:48). In that scene from Jaws, Brody's son was able to imitate what his dad was doing because he could see him sitting across the table from him. Although we can't physically see our heavenly Father, we are still able to imitate Him because we can look to the gospels and see Jesus. Jesus tells us that anyone who has seen Him has also seen the Father (John 14:9). When we follow Jesus and walk in His ways, we are following God's example. Through a life lived in Christ, we can be just like our Dad, our heavenly Father.

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