Father’s Day is just a few days away. And this year it’s a tough one for me for several reasons. First, I lost my father just a few months ago. Second, my dad’s birthday is always close to Father’s Day. In fact, it’s today – June 14.
I am remembering my dad a lot this week. My anniversary was just two days ago. Joanie and I flipped through our wedding pictures. I paused each time I saw my dad. I remembered how handsome he was. I cherished his smile. I wished to be able to go back to my wedding day 14 years ago just to be with my dad again. And I felt guilty that I was thinking more about my dad than my beautiful wife as I saw some of those pictures.
Fathers are really important. I say that mindful that some of you have really difficult, strained, or even non-existent relationships with your biological father. I pray you have had some male in your life that has been a positive father figure to you. Because a male presence is so important in our growth and development.
I am reading a great book about men and fathers right now called Adam’s Return by Richard Rohr. One of the things I am really struck by is how fathers are a part of our initiation into the world as youth and adults.
One thing that Rohr says early in the book really struck me:
“When I was a jail chaplain for 14 years the only thing almost all prisoners had in common was that none of them had good fathers.”
Wow! Doesn’t that say something about the importance of fathers in our lives?! Maybe part of our social ills is that we a have a shortage of good fathers.
For both boys and girls, our fathers help guide us through certain rites of passage in a way that only fathers can do. They show us the male encounter with the world. They help us navigate masculinity in the world. In particular, fathers have a unique role to play in helping us become compassionate, caring, and fair human beings as we learn to manage our emotions.
I don’t want to stereotype fathers as so many are prone to do on days like Father’s Day. Fathers are strong, and so are mothers. Fathers provide for us, and so do mothers. Fathers protect us, and so do mothers. Yet I also believe that the way fathers do these things is unique. Maleness (and femaleness) has a purpose in the world beyond our limited stereotypes. So I will not reduce being a father to anything cliche.
Instead, this Father’s day I’ll spend my time reflecting on those unique lessons that my dad passed on to me. I’ll look for the ways that my dad showed me how to be a good man in the world. I’ll try to dig a little deeper on exactly what it means to be a father myself in a world in which we may not have enough good fathers. And I’ll be thankful for the life and witness of my father who had an integral and essential part in shaping me into the man I am today.
I hope you’ll join me in seeking some fatherly advice. Just ask yourself a few simple questions to honor the men in our lives who have been fathers to us:
- What does it mean to be a father in the world today?
- What unique and important lessons has your father (or a father-figure) given to you?
- How have those lessons guided you throughout your life?
If you missed Sunday’s Sermon or want to hear it again, read or listen here: Spiritual Growth: Laws are Meant to Change (Numbers 27:1-11)
Donuts for Dads
This Sunday is Father’s Day and we will be celebrating all the Father-figures in our lives with a doughnut fellowship time from 10:30 am – 11:00 am on the second floor of the church building outside the chapel. Join us and raise a cup of coffee and a doughnut to your dad!
Sunday, June 17, 10:30 am – 11:00 am
Sunday Morning Small Group Series – Half Truths
We are exploring the truth behind common sayings, such as Everything Happens for a Reason, God’s Helps Those Who Helps Themselves, and Love the Sinner Hate the Sin. They sound Christian – like something you might find in the Bible. We’ve all heard them. Maybe we’ve even said them. They capture some element of truth, yet they miss the point in important ways. Discover the whole truth by comparing Christian cliches with the wisdom found in Scripture.
Sunday Mornings from 9:45 – 10:30 am
This Week at Hood
Tuesday, June 12, 9:00 am – 2:00 pm –Volunteer at DUMA Food Pantry
Wednesday, June 13, 1:30 pm – Prayer & Inspiration
Wednesday, June 13, 6:00 pm – “Young-ish” Small Group Meeting
Thursday, June 14, 1:00-3:00 pm – Pastor Jason’s office hours at the Cellar (108 N Wilson Ave)
Sunday, June 17, 11:00 am – Worship – Father’s Day; Faces of Our Faith: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (Daniel 3)
June 18, 2018
June 12, 2018
May 31, 2018