Ordinary Time


Our world appears to thrive and profit from our fear —

fear of those different from us,

fear of insignificance and isolation,

fear that our secret shames might come to light.

Could there be another way to live?

Is it possible to fear less?


“Which father among you would give a snake to your child if the child asked for a fish? If a child asked for an egg, what father would give the child a scorpion? If you who are evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?”

Luke 11:11–13


Snakes and scorpions are serious business in Texas where I live. They can be quite dangerous, especially when they are unexpected. The smaller the scorpion, the more potent its venom.

Jesus’s disciples knew to beware of snakes and scorpions too, and Jesus uses these fearsome creatures to teach another lesson about prayer. He expands the analogy of God as a good, loving father that he introduced in his model prayer. What kind of father, Jesus asks, would substitute a snake for a fish or a scorpion for an egg? That would be ridiculous! If even imperfect parents know how to give their children good gifts, how much more must God delight in giving us what we ask!

Here Jesus explains the promises about asking, seeking, and knocking that we encountered yesterday. He’s been talking about the gift of the Holy Spirit! Jesus instructs his disciples to ask for the Spirit, seek the Spirit, knock on the very doors of heaven in prayer for the Spirit. God is sure to respond.

Joshua Hays


Loving God, thank you that you are a good and loving parent. I ask that you send the Holy Spirit to teach, comfort, and guide me today. Amen.


May you go to face the day free from fear, rooted and established in the love of Christ and empowered by the Creator’s good gift of the Holy Spirit.

May love and truth meet in your thoughts, words, and actions this day.