June 15, 2017
Dear members of our Calvary family:
This Sunday is Father's Day, a day to honor and thank our father's for their love and care. A loving father is indeed a blessing from the Lord. Yet, we can look to the news and see many examples of father failures. The Bible reports a number of father failures, including Eli, who sacrificed his family for the sake of a job, and Jacob who played favorites.
On the other hand, there are encouraging examples of fatherhood, including the father in Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son. This father thinks and acts with a balance of love and discipline, compassion and instruction, work and family. Then there’s the admirable example of Joseph, whom God appointed to become Jesus’ earthly father. Recall the loyalty of Joseph to Mary and her unborn child, and the faithful devotion Joseph put into action to provide for and protect both Mary and Jesus whether at home or escaping the ravenous Herod.
The father in the Bible to whom most fathers may relate, however, is Abraham. The Bible does not hide from us the tension between Abraham’s godliness (obeying God’s orders to sacrifice Isaac) and his shameful negligence (fathering a child with his wife’s servant). That’s real, day-to-day fatherhood. Champion one moment. Loser the next. That is fatherhood in a sinful world. No father on earth is perfect.
Yet there is a perfect Father. Our Father in heaven. There is no father like him, yet all fathers emulate him. Before making another to-do list to become better fathers, however, men do well to first become children, to sit on the lap of their heavenly Father and feel the warmth of his love, listen to the wisdom of his instruction and see the power of his care. “As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him,” says Psalm 103.
And then, Psalm 103 adds plenty of fatherly comfort and inspiration for any believer to find about our wonderful God. He forgives and heals. He satisfies our desires (but only with good things). He is slow to anger, and abounding in love. He does not treat us as our sins deserve. He knows us, and remembers the weaknesses of our humanity. He rules over all. He sends angels to serve him by serving us. Earthly fathers are winners when they follow their heavenly Father as his children. And lead their children to do the same. No job compares to that.
May our Lord continue to watch over you and be by your side in all things.
Pastor Martin Spaude