It’s Father’s Day

This coming Sunday, it is Father’s Day and it does come with mixed emotions. Some of us no longer have earthly fathers. Others have wonderful fathers whom we love. Others have fathers they do not wish to know. And for others, the relationship with their earthly father is strained at the best of times. Since Father’s Day is celebrated on Sundays, it’s good to be reminded that we are not worshipping our earthly fathers today, but our heavenly Father who is, with respect, so much greater and awesome than any earthly Father. There is an often-told story of Jonathan Edwards who wrote the following to his daughter Lucy shortly before his death. “Dear Lucy, it seems to me to be the will of God that I must shortly leave you; therefore give my kindest love to my dear wife, and tell her, that the uncommon union, which has so long subsisted between us, has been of such a nature as I trust is spiritual and therefore will continue forever: and I hope she will be supported under so great a trial, and submit cheerfully to the will of God. And as to my children you are now to be left fatherless, which I hope will be an inducement to you all to seek a father who will never fail you.”Jonathan Edwards was referring to our heavenly Father, after all, He is the only one who would never fail us. Earthly husbands and fathers, try as they may, cannot please all the time, and will occasionally fail and fall short of expectations, whether rightly or wrongly. Not so concerning our heavenly Father. However, if we wish to take comfort and delight in our heavenly Father, we need to know Him as our Father. We need to be in relationship with Him, just like children can be with their earthly fathers (all being well). And the only way we can be in relationship with our heavenly Fatherly is by knowing His great love to us in Jesus Christ. If we know Jesus as our Saviour, then we can know the Father in heaven, after all, they are One. If we don’t know Jesus as the One coming from the Father, we cannot know the Father and that would leave us rather empty (1 John 2:23). Jesus had a wonderful relationship with His Father in heaven. Not only were they one in their desire to save sinners who repent from their sins, Jesus often prayed to His Father in heaven. On one occasion, the disciples heard Jesus praying, and that prayer so impressed them that their immediate response was, “Teach us to pray” for they wanted to share in that close relationship. And today, that is exactly what we can do as well. We can have a personal, intimate relationship with the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe, all because of what He did for us through His Son. As Jesus prayed, so can we, by saying “our Father in heaven…” (Mat 6:9ff). After his resurrection, Jesus told the weeping Mary Magdalene, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to myFather and yourFather, to myGod and yourGod’” (John 20:17). What a wonderful truth to celebrate this Father’s Day. We have Jesus as our brother; we have the same indwelling Holy Spirit and we have the same heavenly Father, who calls us His sons (and daughters) (1 Jn 3.1). No longer do we need to earn his love or appease His anger for our sin. On the contrary, as believers in Christ, we are eternally secure in His love for us, achieved for us by Christ’s work on the cross. Have a blessed Father’s Day today. JZ