Today's reading is from Luke 1:
13But the angel said to him: "Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John. 14He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, 15for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth. 16Many of the people of Israel will he bring back to the Lord their God. 17And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord."
It's amazing to see that John was among the first in "family ministry." One of the main reasons he was sent, we are told in verse 17, was "to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children."
The problem is not a new one. For centuries, fathers tend to get busy with "business" to the neglect of their children (and wives.) Sometimes, they don't mean to...it's just the way men are wired! Once we get something in our heads, we want to finish it...we want it to be accomplished.
I've been told one of the best things we do in our youth ministry is to provide times for families to be together. Our last series of events was called, "Chillin' With the 'Rents." (For you old fogeys, that's "spending time with your parents!")
It is always heart-lifting to see dads talking, playing and connecting with their children. This is one of the most important ministries of all.