But to all who did receive him [Jesus], who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
There’s a black and white photograph somewhere of the Oval Office in the 1960s. John F Kennedy is sat at the ‘Resolute Desk’, which was a gift from Queen Victoria to President Hayes in 1880. The desk itself is not resolute, you understand, but is made from wood which hailed from HMS Resolute, which explored the Artic. Like most desks of this era, there are sets of drawers on each side linked by the desktop itself. What is more unusual is that during his presidency Roosevelt commissioned a door to be placed between the two sets of drawers on the side facing into the room. He didn’t want people to see his leg braces when he was sat down doing presidential things.
Back to this photo. There is Kennedy sat down looking at some paperwork, and that door installed by Roosevelt is opened wide. The presidential trousers are still hidden, but this time by Kennedy’s son who is peering out from under the desk. It’s a great image of power and family. Servants don’t play by their president’s shoes, employees can’t mess about under desks, only a son or a daughter can claim that right. Such is the benefit of the love that can reside within a family.
What it is to be a child of God! What great benefits flow for those who “did receive him, who believed in his name”. What bonds of love hold the child fast to God.
What it is to pray “our Father”.