We have just observed one of the major secular holidays of our American culture, Fathers Day. It is often a dilemma for many pastors to determine how they should recognize days like Fathers Day and Mothers Day within their Sunday worship.
Some pastors focus their sermon on the role of fathers. Others, who follow a lectionary of assigned scripture readings, may find the appointed texts inappropriate for Fathers Day, and others who like to preach topical sermons in a series, may find that a Fathers Day sermon may break up the continuity of the subject they have been addressing in previous weeks. Some simply include special petitions in their prayers for fathers and other males in parenting roles.
All of us have, or have had a father. My dad passed away 17 years ago, and I still miss him. Some men fulfill their role as father very ably, while others leave something to be desired in their role. Parenting is not a role that is easy to fulfill.
As I reflect on this observance, it brings to mind a verse from the apostle Paul’s letter to the Romans, Chapter 8:15-17a, which reminds us that whatever kind of father we have or had, we have another Father who is perfect in His role.
“For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’ it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ . . . ”
God has adopted us as His children and because we are His children, we share in all the benefits that God has given His one and only begotten son, Jesus Christ. This includes eternal life in His kingdom.
God bless all those men who have been given the role of father in this life. It can be a challenging responsibility at times. But be reminded that in scripture, you have a perfect role model for parenting: a God who has loved each of us unconditionally and who will never abandon us, His children. We have a God who desires to be Father of all of us, whether we have a father of our own or not.