Faith of Our Fathers

Faith of Our Fathers

Psalm 116:1-2; 12-19

I love the Lord, because he has heard
    my voice and my supplications.
Because he inclined his ear to me,
    therefore I will call on him as long as I live.

What shall I return to the Lord
    for all his bounty to me?
 I will lift up the cup of salvation
    and call on the name of the Lord,
 I will pay my vows to the Lord
    in the presence of all his people.
Precious in the sight of the Lord
    is the death of his faithful ones.
Lord, I am your servant;
    I am your servant, the child of your serving girl.
    You have loosed my bonds.
 I will offer to you a thanksgiving sacrifice
    and call on the name of the Lord.
I will pay my vows to the Lord
    in the presence of all his people,
 in the courts of the house of the Lord,
    in your midst, O Jerusalem.
Praise the Lord!

This Sunday, we will celebrate God’s gift of Fathers in our lives.  When I read the selected verses from Psalm 116 this week, I immediately thought about the faith that was taught to us by our family or others.

Two questions come to mind. First, who taught you to love the Lord?  Take a minute to reflect how you developed your love of God.  Was it a parent? Your father?  A pastor? A mentor? A teacher? A friend?

The Psalmist proclaims “O Lord, I am your servant; I am your servant, the child of your serving girl.”  The Psalmist prays to God as servant or one whose Master is the Lord.  And not only is the author of the Psalm a servant, but they are also the child of a servant of the Lord.  This recognizes that following God is passed down from one generation to the next.

Think of the hymn we traditionally relate to Father’s Day…Faith of our FathersLike the Psalmist, Frederick Faber recognizes that faith is passed down from generation to generation.  Our love and commitment to the service of God is learned from those who walked the road of faith first. Faber’s text suggests that by loving and striving to follow God, we are continuing the journey of faith that was passed on to us.   And by living in the ways of God, the faith of those that led us to God us lives on. I love the Lord

My second challenge for you is this: finish this sentence…”I love the Lord because…”  How would you begin your Psalm?  Why do you love God?

Psalm 116 shares great details about why the Psalmist loves the Lord.  If you were to sit and write a Psalm of Thanksgiving, what would it say.  Would it include things that you have been taught?  Would it include those who introduced you to the word of God?  Would it include people that have loved you unconditionally as God has loved you?  Try it…I love the Lord because…

I leave you with some homework. A friend of mine from seminary wrote the following article for Ethics Daily:  “6 Ways Your Church Can Get Father’s Day Right.” It’s a good reminder of think of the men in our congregation that have taught us their faith and shows us ways we can celebrate them and also honor God.


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