“Our Father, by whose Name, all fatherhood is known,
Who dost in love proclaim each family Thine own,
Bless Thou all parents, guarding well,
With constant love as sentinel,
The homes in which Thy people dwell.”
Father’s Day is coming June 17, and for many families, the father of the household will be honored with special accolades, greetings, and gifts. While that may be true in many homes, we are aware that for some families, the ‘father-figure’ is absent or missing. Some fathers serve our country and are deployed to foreign places. Some fathers must work to support their families. Some fathers have died. Some fathers are simply absent and no longer care to support their family on a daily basis. There are so many sad situations of how the family in our society today is far different than the “Ward and June Cleaver” days.
But all fathers are blessed by God to be fathers in the first place. Consider the first father in the world, Adam. He and his wife Eve would be brought together in marriage and be blessed to fill the earth. That they did, and when father Abraham comes on the scene, God blesses him, too, to be a blessing to all families of the earth, and that all families of the earth will be blessed by God’s name through Abraham.
But earthly fathers fail. Adam did, so did Abraham. We can count many in the Bible who were fathers but did not live up to the expectation of what true fatherhood would mean.
“O Christ, Thyself a child within an earthly home,
With heart still undefiled, Thou didst to manhood come;
Our children bless, in every place,
That they may all behold Thy face,
And knowing Thee may grow in grace.”
Jesus came into an earthly family to bless all families of the earth. He blesses them with the forgiveness of sins, of those sins where fathers fail. The Infant Jesus would be a blessing to His earthly parents, Joseph and Mary. While we lose track of Joseph after Jesus’ visit in the Temple at age 12, we do know of the importance of this father-figure for Jesus’ early years.
“O Spirit, who dost bind our hearts in unity,
Who teachest us to find the love from self set free,
In all our hearts such love increase
That ev’ry home, by this release,
May be the dwelling place of peace.” (LSB 863; public domain words)
Where is true fatherhood displayed? We look to the Scriptures to see the perfect Father, namely God the Father Almighty. While there are many positive examples and deeds of fathers in the Bible, we see them as earthly fathers. But when we dig deeper, we see the image of our heavenly Father. He is the forgiving Father to all prodigals in the world. We also read the compassion and love our Father in heaven has for each of His creatures, great and small.
Perhaps you will spend some time remembering your father this Father’s Day. I pray you do so with honor and esteem as you cherish the positive influences he had on you. I pray you’ll continue to pray for your father (if living) that his faith be kept secure. And if you recently lost your father, I pray for comfort and guidance, as your heavenly Father knows when you fall into those thoughts of loss. He as your true Father will be with you to bless and keep you in His grace and mercy. May your home also be a dwelling place of peace, as well as a fortress for the defenseless, and a picture of our eternal home in heaven!
Pastor Ron Brauer