June 21st , 2020: Father’s Day Sunday
Happy Father’s Day to all you Dads, Step-dads, Grandfathers and father mentors in our lives. I have learned a great deal from all the men in my family. My Dad, grandfathers and uncles have each provided examples of what it means to be a father. Beyond all of the usual roles of provider, caregiver, confidant, and sometimes even family peacekeeper, I believe that the father-figures in our lives help us to understand that one of the most important things that all of us must strive to be is a good role model. I hope that Father’s Day is a reminder for all of us to respect and appreciate the father figures in our life who have helped to shape us into who we are.
As, always, it is my hope and prayer that all of you are continuing to do well, staying safe, and having some summer fun. I know from my phone conversations with you that you are enjoying your gardens, tending your yards, taking walks and scenic drives, as well as getting together with small groups of friends. Continue to enjoy these times as a reminder from God that it is okay to slow our pace sometime and smell the flowers.
My sermon this week is based on Luke 15:11-32, the story of the Prodigal Son. Interestingly, this story is not normally read on Father’s Day. I’m not sure why, so I though, this year, I would bring the Prodigal Son story and Father’s Day celebrations together.
One of the key teachings of Jesus in this story is that acceptance always precedes repentance. Acceptance of the returning son came before he even had an opportunity to confess to his father. As the old saying has it: ‘Those who are seeking God have already been found by God.’ One of the most beautiful aspects of the Christian gospel is that God loves us before we change, as we change, or whether we change or not. God’s love, forgiveness, and compassion are limitless. There is no end. There is no running out. And thanks be to God, because if compassion and forgiveness are only given when they are deserved, we would all be in big trouble.
As we gather to pray for each other, every morning, at 10:30, let us remember to also hold, tenderly and wisely, before God, the marches and peaceful protests, that are going on all over the world as people stand in solidarity with the black community and other communities who are marginalized. May we finally see an end to all systemic racism. Let us pray, without ceasing, with a certain and sure love that God holds for each one of us. We are all on a faith journey together, and we need to ensure each of us is doing okay.
Keep well and safe, and have a blessed week.