Pastor's Message (from the Sunday Bulletin)
Jesus teaches us to address Almighty God as “our Father.” Abraham is called the “Father of many nations.” Paul calls himself a father in the faith. All through scripture, there are references to the relationship of father and son. One of the most powerful images of the relationship between a father and a son is illustrated in the Gospel Lesson this morning from Luke 15, the story of the Prodigal Son.
But these pictures of, references to, and parables concerning fathers are only as powerful and accurate as the understanding the reader has of what a father truly is. And while it is lamentable that fatherhood has been feminized, trivialized, subverted and mocked by our culture, what is even more disappointing is the abandonment of the proper role of fathers by… fathers.
I’ve had the privilege of being a father for almost a year and a half. I’ve come to the same conclusion about being a father as I have about being a husband: in twenty or so years I might have a handle on how to be a good one. Until then Thomas (and Alissa) will have to patiently endure my best attempts to be faithful to my calling in roles that immediately and significantly impact their lives. What has helped me so far in my quest for Father of the Year has been the example of my dad, Walter Joseph McLellan, and the grace, love, discipline, patience and generosity shown to me by my heavenly Father. Unfortunately, too many children do not have fathers whose lives they can respect and whose behaviors they should pattern theirs after.
The good news is that, through Christ, all people can rightly call God their Heavenly Father. And when human fathers fail, God steps in and gives us what is lacking. When our fathers are unable to defend and protect us against the evils of the world (even our own sinful nature), God intervenes to shield and sanctify us. We can always turn to him for the refuge and the peace that passes all understanding.
On this Father’s Day, we give thanks for our dads—their hard work, sacrifice, faithfulness, and spiritual leadership in the home—and we give our worship and adoration to the One who is father of us all, the one who sent our brother, his Son, Jesus to make atonement for our sins and guarantee our place in paradise.
God’s blessings to you as you worship the One Jesus taught us to call “Our Father.”