Reflections on the Word: Father’s Day
Father’s Day is a celebration that honors dads and how much they mean to their families. The roots of Father’s Day go back to the early 1900s when a young woman wanted to honor her dad, a Civil War veteran. Father’s Day has been celebrated to one degree or another since those early days but it wasn’t officially recognized as a U.S. holiday until 1972.
Fathers have a huge influence on their families and culture in general. It’s been said when a father is active in the home there is a greater chance of children becoming successful. God is called “your heavenly Father,” and when people trust God, their lives have more meaning and their hearts are bent toward good and not evil.
When Jesus came on the scene religious leaders had added so many rules to God’s word that they reduced trusting God to following precepts. But Jesus presented a different view of God. He showed us the heart of God to be a father to the fatherless and a helper to those in need.
Jesus said in Matthew 6:26 (NLT), “Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?”
When the religious leaders presented God as far off and everyone needed to appease him, Jesus said; “Look around, see the birds and notice how God takes care of them, then understand that your heavenly Father loves you more than any bird.”
“Your heavenly Father” — I like that term because it speaks of relationship. Although my dad was not a perfect man, I know that he loved me and always wanted the best for me. So it is with God — he loves you so much he sent Jesus to atone for the sin that separates us from him. God wants to give you the best gift, the gift of his presence in your life.
In Luke 11:11-13, Jesus said, “You fathers — if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead? Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.”
Jesus never presented God as being far off and aloof, but said just like you want to bless your children, so your heavenly Father wants to give you the best gift, the Holy Spirit, who is God dwelling with you.
On Father’s Day we want to recognize and bless our earthly dads, but I think Father’s Day should also be a day to recognize the best present ever given. Your heavenly Father has given you the gift of his presence, both in salvation by trusting in Christ and the Holy Spirit who dwells with you.
Pastor Rich Lammay of High Sierra Fellowship is a member of the Carson Valley Ministers’ Association.