It’s Father’s Day. There’s a lot of talk in the Bible about God being our Heavenly Father. How should we be celebrating Father’s Day because it’s not always easy to celebrate Father’s Day, right?
No, it’s not. And you’re exactly right. When Jesus teaches us in the Lord’s Prayer how to pray, he begins by saying, “Our Father,” and we just read that and we think, “Oh, okay, we know that.” But that was very radical. If you look back in the Old Testament, God is presented as a rock, He’s presented as a deliverer, as a saviour, but very rarely is He described as father. And Jesus very radically shows us and introduces us to the personal relationship that we can have with God as our father.
Now, as you know, Sam, both in the world that we live in, not everybody’s had a great father experience. So some of us might have had dads who are sacrificial, loving, kind and generous, but many of us out there might not have had that experience. The good news, however, in the Bible is that regardless of our background, there is a God who is the epitome and the delight and the model par excellence. So what a father is meant to be. And that’s why Jesus says that we had to call Him Father.
In fact, I’m a dad who does make parenting fails. Sometimes I have successes, but often there are a lot of lows. But Jesus when talking to people in his day, he said, “You fathers, if your child asks for a fish, do you give him a snake?” And he answers, “Of course you don’t,” right? He says, “If they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion?” Naturally, you don’t. “Of course not,” he says. So if you’re sinful, that is to say, you’re a broken person, and you 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 reminds us our Father in heaven is very generous. It says in the book of 1 John, “Think about or marvel at how great God loves us that we should be called children of God, and that is what we are.” Elsewhere in the Bible, it says, “He is the father of lights and whatever He does is good and perfect,” and that is what the father we have is like. Not one who misses out, not one who is a cheapskate, not one who forgets our birthdays, but the father who loves and cares for us.
I think it’s a great reminder that we are God’s children. I love the story of the prodigal son, which is all about the father, isn’t it? The fact that he welcomes a wayward son home. And that’s exactly what God does to all His sons and daughters.
He is the father who is just amazing in His love for us, and we can have that great confidence. There was a time, Sam, when I was recently driving in the car with my son, Adam, and he had one of his mates in the car, and his friend was talking about basketball. His friend apparently loves basketball. And you know what kids are like. There’s something about kids where they like to do that one-upmanship. And particularly when it comes to dads, we used to do this often in the playground. Your dad does this; one dad does that. Well, this boy is talking to me about basketball, and I mentioned I lived in Chicago where Michael Jordan played and I watched Michael Jordan play, and this young fellow is like way out. “You watched the Chicago Bulls?” And then my son, Adam, in the back said, “Not only did my dad watch Michael Jordan, but my dad also has Michael Jordan’s phone number on his mobile.”
No. So I’m thinking, “Where did you get this?” But it was my son just with this super confidence that he wanted to show, “Hey, I love my dad.”
Now, again, I’m a broken dad, I sometimes miss it completely, but there’s an element of confidence that my son has, but as Christians, how much more confidence do we have in a loving Creator who is our father who Jesus encourages us to call father? That we can pray, we can talk to Him about anything. We can have utter confidence in Him because we know that He cares for us.
What a great truth. A reminder that, you know, we’ve been adopted. We’re children of God.
Part of his family.
It’s something to celebrate and Happy Father’s Day to you if you’re a dad listening but also to you, Mal, and maybe next we can get Michael Jordan on the show.
We’ll see. I’ve got my contacts.