ne 14th, 2020
All things have been delivered to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father.
Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal him. Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
Sermon: Our Father
At Christmas time, office parties frequently involve a “Secret Santa” gift from one employee to
another. We adopted this practice in a church Sunday school class. Some of the gifts were very nice and quite thoughtful. Others were obviously gag gifts, forcing the recipient to cringe upon opening. Mysteriously, some of these gag gifts were re-gifted the following year, causing laughter and great joy. Father’s Day is a similar holiday. It was likely dreamed up by someone at Hallmark in Kansas City. I always wondered how I could possibly thank my dad for all he had done for me.
Jesus never assumed a position of importance. As a boy, he had to be about his Father’s business. He
taught about his Father in heaven, suggesting that his words and his actions might somehow glorify the Father in heaven. He taught us the Lord’s Prayer, clarifying that our Father knew our needs even before we ask. Jesus taught his disciples to pray in a quiet place so that the Father who sees us in secret will reward us openly. He taught about forgiveness, so that the Father might forgive our trespasses. Jesus was never about doing as he pleased, but rather obeyed his Father’s will.
Traditionally, we honor our fathers with special gifts and or gift cards. We recognize the newest father,
the father with the most children in worship, and the grandfather with the most grandchildren. If we returned to live worship on June 14th , we could continue this tradition. Otherwise, we must take time in each family to honor our fathers. Please allow me to highlight some special reflections on honoring our Father in heaven.
1.God ultimately paid the price for the gifts we offer back to him. When kids are young, they buy
Father’s Day gifts that are simple and—if we’re totally honest—sometimes a bit lame. But if they bought the gift with their allowance money, dads are thrilled to get them just the same. To this day, our kids are always proud of what they have offered to me, and I treasure that they made the effort to bless me. On a much grander scale, that is our story with Abba Father. God ultimately paid a price far greater than the meager gifts that we offer him. Jesus gave his life so that we might live without fear of sin and death. He shed his precious blood for our sake. He was the perfect gift, God’s ultimate sacrifice. There is no greater gift than the Father’s love for his children.
2. God’s love and pleasure in us is not based on our actions. At the same time, being a dad has taught
me a lot about my own shortcomings. I am not like God and I clearly need the sanctifying work of the Spirit. I am selﬁsh. I wish my kids had thought to get that pink, Ping Bubba Watson driver instead of another bottle of aftershave or another neck tie. Praise God that he doesn’t laugh at our gifts or wish that we had something more to offer him.
We can never earn God’s love. It is a gift of grace, grace that is totally unmerited and undeserved.
God’s love overshadows every act of selfishness, greed, and corruption. I know this is true. Jesus forgave a chief tax collector, a prostitute, a heinous criminal beside him, and the very men who executed him at Calvary. The love of God is far greater than any gift we could offer in return. Instead of trying to compete with God, love others as God first loved us. That would be a special Father’s Day gift!
3. God knits families together as a reflection of his love for his children. Not every child has a father,
for some have divorced their mother or abandoned their children. Adopted children get a second chance. For Wayne Ojala and countless other men like him, being an adoptive dad really makes Father’s Day special. It’s not just another silly Hallmark holiday. Dads can enjoy those few minutes on Sunday morning with their kids.
We are aware that we once were not a family, but now we are a part of God’s family! Those precious
moments on Father’s Day are an awesome reminder of what it means to be knit together and reconciled in Christ. Kids don’t give goofy ties to their “adoptive” dad—they give them to their daddy. Our heavenly Father is our Daddy in heaven! So when we meet and dads smell a lot like an old fashioned barbershop, just know that we’re enjoying a gift of some old fashioned drug store cologne.
Listen carefully as Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit of his Father’s love in Luke 10:21-22, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in your sight. All things have been delivered to me by my Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal him.”
As Christians, we are the babes, the children to whom God is revealed to the world. Jesus did not
appear before kings, princes, priests, and key leaders in the Hebrew Temple. Jesus spoke to the common people, the children of Israel. He brought a message from his heavenly Father, a message of mercy, love, forgiveness, and hope. Jesus taught his followers as if they were all children…. spoon feeding them at first and gradually building them up to become a more mature audience.
Jesus was powerless to do anything on his own. He was the perfect reflection of his Father in heaven
and he always sought to do his Father’s will. With each new revelation of God’s plan of salvation, his disciples’ eyes and their hearts were opened to the Father’s plan. As the Father granted Jesus life, he offered new life to his followers. Jesus’ words and his works bore witness to the Father’s love for the world. Hear these passages from the Gospel about the Father.
John 5:30 Jesus said, “I can of myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and my judgment is righteous, because I do not seek my own will but the will of the Father who sent me.” Can you sense his total obedience?
John 6:39-40 “This is the will of the Father who sent me, that of all he has given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of him who sent me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” For all who believe in Jesus’ name as Savior and Lord, we will be saved! This is his Father’s will.
John 6:44-45 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.” Have we begged the Father to draw us closer to his side? He alone can raise us up!
Happy Father’s Day! Amen.