Summary: A father’s Day Sermon relating how the "prodigal son" didn’t deserve, how I as a child didn’t deserve, and how we and children of Christ don’t deserve, but he gives to us anyway.
What can you say to someone who has always been one of the most essential parts of your world; someone who took you by the hand when you were little and helped to show the way?
What do you say to someone who stood by to help you grow, providing love, strength, and support so you could become the person you are today?
What can you say to let him know that he’s the best there is, and that you hope you’ve inherited some of his wisdom and his strength?
What words would you say if you ever got the chance?
Maybe you just say "I love you, Dad..."
and hope he understands.
-- Carey Martin
Many of you may have heard me say this before, but I must say it again. I mean no disrespect to those who have come before me, nor to those who shall come after me. To all my brothers and sisters I share with you the utmost in love, however, there is something I must declare. I have the world’s greatest father. My heart saddens right now, for I love him and so desire having the opportunity to share this special day with him. My father was not perfect: sometimes he beat me when it was my brother’s fault; sometimes he yelled at me when my sister did it; sometimes he punished me when I had a perfectly good reason; sometimes ...
The Bible tells the story of perhaps one of the most loving fathers in the world through a story called “the Prodigal Son”. Of all the stories in the Bible, many of us may perhaps know of this story. In it we find a young son who goes to his father and requests his portion of the inheritance. Without question the father gives the son the proper share after which the son travels to a distant, not house, not city, but country, where he squanders all that the father has given him until none is left. As if being broke is not enough, the son finds himself also in a country where there is a great famine, where he is forced to work feeding pigs. Sadly enough, even the pigs eat better than he does. The son then remembers that even the servants in his father’s house have food to spare, yet he is in another country starving. He then decides to make better of himself by traveling back home to see his father.
Strangely after all that has happened, the father sees the son in the distance, runs to him, welcomes him back, and throws a party greater than anyone can ever imagine.
As I looked at this story I began to think, as some of you may have, as well: why did the father so eagerly help him; where is the “tough love” that children are supposed to have when they don’t do right; where is the lesson learned that the son is supposed to have; where is the punishment and discipline that the son is supposed to be faced with when he returns home after loosing all that the father had worked so hard to achieve; where is the condemnation for misusing his talents? Are you confused? I am. This “father“ is not acting like a father! He’s just giving everything away to this unappreciative boy.
Thus as a result I began I “Bible dive”; diving deeper into the word to find out why perhaps it was that in three different areas it was that the son was undeserving, but he received anyway.
It was not until I looked at this “father” in light of my own flesh and blood, in light of my own father to truly begin to realize what it could be that made the Father act the way in which he did.
“Love, I didn’t deserve it, but my father gave it to me anyway”
20So he got up and went to his father.
"But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
Do you know what real love is? I’m sure you do. When I look at the father and I think of real love, I think of my experiences as a young 11/12 year old. It was around this time that I really began to pursue my love of cooking. I even began to mock the recipes my mother would make. I recall having dinner one evening and my mother made tomatoes stuffed with a tuna salad. The next day after school I was determined to make the same dish myself. I slaved in the kitchen until my masterpiece was ready and it was presented for dinner. It was “almost” like my mother’s; I just happen to forget to drain the tuna fish of all the oil. It was almost like my mother’s; I just happen to use mustard instead of mayonnaise in the tuna salad. It was almost like my mother’s; I just happened to add hot sauce. And after we had said grace that evening, my father ate it.