Summary: A father’s day sermon, stressing the importance of father’s being involved, so that their sons and daughters can find security, value and self esteem, and thus transfer love for their earthly father to their heavenly father.
In Jesus Holy Name June 15th , 2008
Text: Luke 8:40-42,54-53 Redeemer
“A Father’s Gift”
The story of Jairus is a wonderful story about a father’s love for his daughter. His daughter was about 12 years old and she was dying. His desperate love caused this Jewish religious leader to seek out Jesus. The parents had done what they could but what they could do had not been enough. Humanity has never built a tool capable of measuring the immensity of pain in those hearts. But can see is love.
There are few words that we can speak to parents who have lost a child. We would never dare speak the words recorded in Luke 8. “Talitha cumi”. Tow words: “talitha cumi”. Jesus had just returned from the east side of the Sea of Galilee. He had just released a man from demonic possession. He was returning to Capernaum. Jairus found him and pleaded, “Come help my daughter.”
The bible does not talk of insurance policies, no scheduling of an appointment with Jesus. It says: Jesus went with him. The distance was short. The father’s heart had to be crying out….as they tried to make it through the crowd….”hurry, hurry, hurry”. The clock was ticking. Jesus was interrupted, not only by the large crowds but a woman who reached out to touch his garment to be healed.
Now I don’t know if he saw the men, the men from the synagogue coming to meet him, but I do know what they told him. “Your daughter is dead; don’t bother the teacher any more.”
Jesus ignored the men. He went to the house. The weeping and mourning had already begun. Bad news travels fast in a small town. Jesus, accompanied by the parents and a few disciples, went to the side of the little girl who still lay upon her death bed.
Jesus broke the silence. He stepped to the side of the girl, took her hand. Jesus spoke. “Talitha cumi” Little girl, wake up! And she did! Jesus did what only the Son of God alone can do! Jesus gave life where death once reigned.
This was not the first time Jesus restored a child to a grieving family. Outside the city of Nain, he had given a young man back to his mother. It would not be the last time he would reunite a family. At a cemetery near Jerusalem he shouted “Lazarus, come out” Lazarus, 3 days dead, came forth and was restored to his family.
A father’s love brought Jesus to his house and his daughter was restored to the family. This is father’s day and although we know that not all fathers demonstrate love towards their children and wife, we still honor fathers. God wants fathers to guide, direct and demonstrate love for their children. Father’s have a critical role in family life.
US News and World Report, October 3, 2005 carried an article by John Leo that verifies what happens when fathers are not present in the home.
The article quoted George Will, Gary Bauer and Thomas Bray, all noted columnist who had written about the results of hurricane Katrina.
They noted that government figures showed that 76 % of births to Louisiana African Americans are to unmarried women and probably more than 80% in New Orleans. George Will wrote: “This translates into large and constantly renewed cohort of lightly parented adolescent males, which translates into chaos in neighborhoods and schools, come rain or come shine.”
Two decades of research produced a consensus among social scientists….that family structure has a serious impact on children….in other words we are not talking about a problem of race but a problem of family formation or the lack of it.
A policy brief from the Washington based Institute for Marriage and Public Policy notes that 19 of 20 studies noted that…..single parent families had a higher rate of crime and delinquency.
John Eldridge in his book: Wild at Heart writes: “A boy learns who he is, from a man or a company of men. He learns self esteem and worth from a loving father. …. A daughter learns that she has value and worth when she knows she is loved by her father. “A little girl looks to her father to know if she is lovely. She wants to know if her father will fight for her. This is the core to her self identity, the way she bears the image of God.”
Jairus fought for his daughter. Passive fathers, delinquent fathers only leave their children with a sense of abandonment.
Any man can be a father. It takes someone special to be a Dad. Dad, is a son’s first hero, a daughter’s first love. Rose O’Kelly wrote: “Your Dad is the man who does all the heavy shoveling for your sand castle, and then tells you you’ve done a wonderful job.”