Today is Father’s Day, 2022 and this evening we had a wonderful celebration with the family. All in all it was a great day – especially the cards and the reflections on how the family has been impacted throughout the years by my leadership. It was really nice to read what our grandsons had to say – it’s always affirming to have them acknowledge that they appreciate the way that they have been raised.
But it’s difficult to believe that it’s been forty five years since I was able to wish my Dad a Happy Father’s Day in person. The years tend to fade away into the background and I have to admit that I really don’t have that many photos of my father with me. Back in the day it just wasn’t as common taking as many photos as it is with this generation and all the technology we have in this instant gratification world.
We didn’t have instant photos, other than Polaroids, and we had to wait while we took film to the drug store to be developed; and then the prints made and returned to us. It was a somewhat long process but there was a note of anticipation as we were anxious to see how all the pictures turned out. Oh, the good old days!
I am so grateful for the family that we have been blessed with. Janet and I find ourselves as the oldest generation at this point in time. At family gatherings, like we had today, we have the ability to spend time with three children, four grandchildren and two son-in-laws.
And quite a family it is. We have created some pretty strong boundaries throughout the years. Our kids and grandchildren know the rules, the expectations and their individual contributions to the family. Everyone is valued as an individual – for who they are. The kids have learned from a very early age that our differences help make us stronger and that you never turn against the family. Those codes of conduct give each of us a sense of mutual respect and unparalleled trust.
It’s true that we probably set higher standards that might be seen other places. We are by no means perfect but we strive to be the best that we can be. And we do protect our own. I guess that you could say that we have a strong family identity. We are an outspoken, strong family. It’s been said that we love hard and are very vocal in our disagreements as well. But one thing you can say for sure – we are authentic and genuine with one another.
When you hear about our family, you might think that we are a tough crowd to hang out with. But that’s not the case. As a rule, we are not judgmental and we celebrate our differences. In fact, the model for our family is quite biblical in nature.
We protect our own – as God protects us as His family. We are different people but have a common thread that runs through us. Our identity is in Christ – all of us. We celebrate our differences but our common identity unites us with one another. That’s how the kingdom of God is set up as well.
Another great thing is that each of us stands out in the light. We celebrate birthdays, holidays and, of course, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. In an age when so many families struggle with togetherness and unity, we are blessed to be tied to one another first and foremost – just as God tied Himself to each of His children.
In fact, I get treated like every day is Father’s Day. But in another sense, God is the Father that we should be concerned with. As the Creator of everything, including the plan for spending eternity with His children, He is the Ultimate Father to whom we should be supremely and exclusively dedicated.
Our verse for tonight is from the apostle Paul and his second letter to the Corinthians. Paul gives us the words of God, who tells us in 2 Corinthians 6:18, “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” That says quite a bit.
My encouragement this evening is that God considers us part of His family and only wants the best for us, just as we want the best for our children. My prayer is that this Father’s Day, while we honor our own fathers, or the memory of them, we will spend a few minutes remembering the love and grace that our Supreme Father, our Abba Father, has show us throughout our lives – and will continue to show us throughout all eternity. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…