Listen, Lord, as I pray!
Pay attention when I groan.
2 You are my King and my God.
Answer my cry for help because I pray to you.
3 Each morning you listen to my prayer,
as I bring my requests to you and wait for your reply.
4 You are not the kind of God who is pleased with evil.
Sinners canâ€™t stay with you.
5 No one who boasts can stand in your presence, Lord,
and you hate evil people.
6 You destroy every liar, and you despise violence and deceit.
7 Because of your great mercy,
I come to your house, Lord,
and I am filled with wonder as I bow down to worship at your holy temple.
8 You do what is right,
and I ask you to guide me.
Make your teaching clear because of my enemies. Â Â Â Psalm 5:1-8 (CEV)
Next Sunday is Father’s Day. As I said on Mother’s Day this can be a wonderful day of laughter and bar-b-q with the retelling of stories where the fish gets bigger! It can also be difficult when you have recently experienced the death of your dad or if you are a dad and your child is deployed in the service or has recently died.
When most of us think of fathers we think of strength and steadfastness. It is wonderful to see young dads spending time with their babies and their children being exposed to that loving gentle hand.
The lectionary texts speak to me about the example we all have of a father; the many facets of a loving dad.
1 Kings 21 is another part of the Ahab and Jezebel story. It shows me that my Heavenly Father has a standard. Every child needs to know where the fence is that marks ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ and the parent needs to communicate both in words and their own actions. A parent always wants a child to first obey out of love but if that isn’t the choice then the parent must show the child that there are consequences to their choice to disobey. It’s so much better to explain consequences to a child of 5 than to a teen of 15 who has never experienced consequences.
Galatians 2 When a parent lives their faith in Jesus, then their children see first hand what it means to commit their life to Christ and the blessings that come with that commitment. If a parent’s faith is all about the Law â€“ go to church, wear certain clothes, follow certain rituals, agree with specific behavior in public and then do whatever behind closed doors â€“ then I believe a child grows up without knowing God’s grace and mercy. A child needs to know about asking forgiveness and serving others. They need to know Jesus as He is every day.
Luke 7 Jesus loved. Oh how important it is that we teach our children truthfully how to love like Jesus. There is no immigrant or race that is not loved by Jesus. There is no child of God who is not loved. If by our actions or words we say we hate an ethnic group, a homosexual, a drug addict or any one that we have judged as a sinner, then we are teaching our children that God will only love them after they have become perfect. Jesus loved me first and died for my sins. He continues to love me and works with me to become the child of God who shuns sin and loves Him more.
Psalm 5 God hears my cries for help. He answers my prayers. He is happy to talk with me every day. No, He doesn’t like my sin at all. Because of His great mercy, I can come into His presence and worship Him, receive the conviction of my sin, and be restored â€“ every day!
Fathers, remember it isn’t about biology as much as it is about the love that God has given you for His children that are in your care. Be blessed this week and listen to what your Father has to say to you. It will be the best gift you get.
Father’s Eyes written and sung by Amy Grant