Summary: Father’s Day Sermon
In preparing this message a single song kept coming to me. Its one of those songs that once its in your head you can’t get it out, and what’s worse is it is sung by a group that I don’t really like all that much.
The song is probably familiar to most of us here; its by “The Judds”, the song is also the title of the message this morning. Daddy’s Hands, is a song about a person who reflects back on their father and how his hands meant different things at different times. Sometimes they were soft and tender, sometimes they were hard as steel, but no matter what they were like Daddy’s Hands were always filled with love; love for his family, his wife and his children.
On this Father’s Day I can’t help but reflect on Daddy’s Hands, not mine or yours but our heavenly father’s hands, our Daddy’s Hands.
The word Abba, is Aramaic for Father in the most familiar sense of knowing a father, the closest parallel in English would simply be, daddy. To cry out to God as Abba, Father is to cry out with our hearts as children and with our minds acknowledging that he is the one who we follow and obey.
Our daddy’s hands do so many things in our lives. God’s hands serve many purposes, just as our own hands accomplish many tasks in our lives.
Our Eternal Daddy’s Hands: Instruct us, command us, guide and warn us. These are probably the tasks that Daddy’s hands do, that we simply resist the most. God looks to help us find our way through life, he looks to direct our paths, and he looks to be a light for our journey. He speaks to us through his written word, through prayer, through our own intellect and through the voices of those who have gone before us. But, so many times we be come convinced that we know more than God does and we refuse to take direction from him.
We like stubborn adolescents develop arguments that seek to rationalize our own actions so that we may be continue to go the direction that we have chosen for ourselves. We look to culture to tell us what is right and what is wrong and we begin to deceive ourselves, and then we begin to resist our Daddy’s hands. When all the while he is simply looking out for our best interests.
I saw a T-shirt this last week that had the roles of the Father printed down the front. This list went something like this:
Feed baby Change diapers
Chase toddler Fix Bicycle
Go Fishing Get Stupid over night
Loan Car Keys Pay for college
Get brilliant over night Repeat for sibling.
I am convinced that with each generation we reach that age of adolescence and we find that God has gotten stupid over night. None of the things he says make sense, he seems irrational, irrelevant, out dated, and absurd. And, and so we begin to ignore everything he says which gets us into a lot of trouble. Then one day after we have matured spiritually we look at God and realize that all of the sudden he has become brilliant! All of the things that he has been telling us are suddenly full of truth and wisdom. We must be open to the instruction, commands, guidance, and warning of Daddy’s Hands, or else we risk resisting God.
In the Old Testament one of the four tasks that a father had to his son was to teach that son a trade or a skill. A daddy’s hands train us; they teach us how to do things. And our Father has given us gifts that he wants us to use, through the Holy Spirit he teaches us how to use these gifts, he gives us the direction and the ability to use them so that we might minister to those who are all around us.
One day while we were packing a U-Haul to move, my son went running for the street. He had seen something on the other side that he wanted to check out and he went running. Knowing the danger and wanting to protect him from harm, I quickly reached out and clamped down onto his shoulder. In our lives God’s hands come down on our shoulders as well, they restrain us from things that are dangerous, and they also restrain us from doing things that might hurt others.
You know the one aspect of my Daddy’s hands that I couldn’t stand as a child? When my father told me that I was wrong, and he rebuked me for doing something, I hated those times. We live in a time when to tell for someone to be rebuked is seen as an act of intolerance and hatred. We live in a time when we are free to run headlong into traffic and we are taught to push off the oppressive hands that tells us we are heading for danger.