SUNDAY 21 JUNE
Reflection for Sunday 21 June
Grace and peace to you, from God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
Before the world began, You were on his mind. And every tear you cry, Is precious in his eyes. Because of his great love, He gave His only Son. Everything was done so you would come. Come to the Father, though your gift is small. Broken hearts, broken lives, He will take them all. The power of the word, the power of His blood. Everything was done so you would come. Nothing you can do, Could make Him love you more. And nothing that you've done, Could make Him close the door. Because of His great love, He gave His only Son. Everything was done so you would come. (Hillsongs)
I was at one time chaplain in two secondary schools.
One morning was speaking to a first year class and asked them who their heroes were.
A few hands went up and I invited six of the teenagers to come up and share with the rest of those gathered who their heroes were and why.
I came down the line and heard the names of footballers, pop singers, fictional super heroes, who had athletic skills, great talent, or superhuman powers.
Then it was the last boy’s turn, who whispered to me, “I was going to say my dad”
I said, “Well say it”
He did, and there were a few sniggers from those who heard, and I could feel the boy begin to shrink with embarrassment. I asked him why his dad was his hero and he said, “‘cos he just loves me even when I’m no all that good”
I let everyone go back to their seats, and for a moment I just couldn’t speak so moved was I by this young boy’s words. For, I knew that for a number of children in that school, home life was very difficult. But, also his words had struck a chord somewhere deep within me, as I remembered the difficult relationship I’d had with my own father.
Later that day I thought of how often I struggled to share with children how much they are loved by God, and here this wee boy was able to sum it up so simply in a few short words.
This Sunday is Father’s Day, and up and down the land children will be sending cards or buying gifts to show their appreciation for the love and care and guidance they have known from their dads.
But, I know for others this Sunday might be one of mixed emotions.
Some will not be able to visit, because of lockdown restrictions, some will be mourning the passing of their dads, some will be wishing their relationship good have been better, and of course there will be some who have no idea who their father was or is.
But..............we all have had a father...............and a mother..........
When we come to look at the Bible, we find lots of stories about family life, and we can see where relationships have been mixed, sometimes good, and sometimes bad. And, over the next few days I want to look more closely at some of the fathers we encounter in the bible.
We know that Jesus had Joseph as his earthly father, but it was his heavenly Father that he had the perfect father son relationship with. And it is this Father, his Abba, that he wants us to have a close relationship with.
A few years ago I found this list which offers us a special word for today.
MY CHILD . . .
You may not know me, but I know everything about you. Psalm 139:1 I know when you sit down and when you rise up. Psalm 139:2 I am familiar with all your ways. Psalm 139:3 Even the very hairs on your head I’ve numbered. Matthew 10:29-31 For you were made in my own image. Genesis 1:27 In me you live and move and have your being. Acts 17:28
You are my child. Acts 17:28
I knew you even before you were conceived. Jeremiah 1:4-5 I chose you when I planned creation. Ephesians 1:11-12 You were not a mistake, for all your days are written in my book. Psalm 139:15-16 I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live. Acts 17:26
I am also the Father who comforts you in all your troubles. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 When you are broken-hearted, I am close to you. Psalm 34:18
As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to my heart. Isaiah 40:11 One day I will wipe away every tear from your eyes. Revelation 21:3-4 And I’ll take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth. Revelation 21:3-4 I am your Father, and I love you even as I love my son Jesus. John 17:23
Come home and I’ll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen. Luke 15:7 I have always been Father, and will always be Father. Ephesians 3:14-15 My question is…Will you be my child? John 1:12-13 I am waiting for you. Luke 15:11-32
Come home. Luke 15: 7
Signed: With Love Everlasting – Your Dad,
Some people find it helpful to call you Father, some don’t.
Fathers can be good or bad, by degrees; they are rarely neutral.
On a day dedicated to fatherhood, let there be joy and happiness, let there also be an acknowledgment of pain and sadness.
God of moments and memories, warm us and heal us with love.
Thinking about what the young boy I spoke about at the beginning of this reflection, and how his dad loved him even when he was bad I found this photo which made me smile. Not perhaps the loving
greetings this dad was expecting!!!
May you know the deep love of your heavenly Father this day.
God bless you.