The Little and the Big

Christine Ebert Nelson

“So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion? If you then, 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: 9-13)


A hard thing, prayer. 

In this season of reflection and contemplation that is Lent, I have been tasked to comment on prayer. Luke 11 is about prayer. First, Jesus teaches us his prayer, the Lord’s Prayer. It hits all the bases, and each time we recite it we connect to God and each other pray-er in a deep way that is both current and timeless. 

Then, Jesus writes about persistence in prayer. 

Next, we come to the passage for today. Fish, snakes, eggs, and scorpions. Once again, Jesus brings a human explanation to a very big concept. After all, talking to the Divine is big deal.  Especially during Lent, when we address our own frailty, our status as both saint and sinner. We may feel shy, inadequate, unworthy to approach God with our meager praises and concerns that we perceive are small in God’s eyes. Yet Jesus teaches us again not of the littleness of ourselves, but the greatness of God’s self.  We see the basket of snakes and scorpions and not the huge walk-in coolers of fish and eggs. 

So, for today, think big. As we reflect on our small selves this Lenten season, reflect also on God’s great love. And ask for the big things. 

Prayer: Dear God, as we travel our Lenten journeys, we thank you for the reminder that you wish all good things for us.  Help us to pray with confidence and grow in faith through this season and all the seasons to come. Amen.

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