Summary: How do we honour our heavenly father on this father’s day?
The beginning of Father’s Day does not have it’s roots in Mother’s Day or a greeting card company. The celebration of Dad’s special day is credited to Mrs. John B. Dodd of Washington state, who first suggested the idea in 1909.
Mrs. Dodd’s father, William Smart, was widowed when his wife died in childbirth delivering her 6th child. Despite the obvious hardships, Mr. Smart proceeded to raise the newborn along with his other 5 children by himself. It wasn’t until Sonora Dodd became an adult that she realized the strength and selflessness her father had shown in raising his children as a single parent. The original date chosen for Father’s Day was June 5th, Mr. Smart’s birthday but was postponed until June 19th, the third Sunday of June because Mrs. Dodd didn’t have enough time to prepare.
The idea spread quickly and cities across America began celebrating Father’s Day on the third Sunday in June. In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge supported the idea of a national Father’s Day, but it didn’t become official until 1966 when President Lynden Johnson signed a presidential proclamation that set aside the 3rd Sunday of June as Father’s Day.
Children have the best things to say about fathers. Let us take a look at some of them (Video)
These are about earthly fathers and when it comes to earthly fathers there is no perfect father. And the Bible gives us all kinds of examples of fathers.
a) A good but neglectful father like Eli (1Sam. 2).
Eli’s neglect to correct and council his children was so grievous that they sinned against their own people, made a sham of the priesthood, ignored what their father told them about their shamefulness, and greatly dishonored the heavenly Father. The Lord was so distressed at the lack of will Eli displayed to correct his children that he rebuked and chastened him, then cursed his household.
b) A bad and rotten father like Ahab (1Kings 16-22).
King Ahab followed his father King Omri’s example by being a worse sinner than King Omri himself was. A fathers example can lead to the destruction of not only himself but also the entire family; in this case Israel. A little bit of love and respect for the Lord could have gone a long way here.
c) Good men who from time to time left bad examples like David (1&2 Samuel).
We all know the troubles King David had controlling his desires.
d) And good fathers like Abraham.
Abraham loved and respected the lord very much. He did as the lord asked, without question, even to the point of sacrificing his own son Isaac, and Abraham would have if the lord didn‘t stop him. That is trust, faith, obedience and love.
However, despite the shortcomings of fatherhood, it is amazing that when God chose how we should relate to Him, he chose Father, and He demonstrated and continues to demonstrate the perfect attributes of a Father
However, I am not going to deliver a sermon on how to become a great father. Sure there are things that fathers can do to become better, sure there are ways to make our children feel special, sure there are many things that God himself shows us on perfect fatherhood. It is common knowledge that the children end up imitating their fathers a lot of time. So there is no denying the fact that we can become better fathers. But that is not the topic of my sermon this morning. All of us sitting here, young or old, married or not, father or child, man or woman, all of us have one thing in common. We all have a loving heavenly Father. This morning I want us to turn our focus on Him. This morning I want to encourage us to look at how do we honour our heavenly Father.
A little girl decided to honour her father by making breakfast for him. Let us see what happens (Video clip from “Imagine That”)
Let us get back to ourselves. How do we honour our heavenly Father? We might start thinking about various ways to do that. And some of them might be right, some of them not so appropriate. However, fortunately for us, God has sent a perfect example. So let us look at that perfect example. How the Son honoured the Father. Does any one remember the first “red letter” words of the bible? The very first words of Jesus recorded in the bible? Let us turn to Luke 2: 41-49. The story is familiar. The parents take the child to the temple, and when the feast is finished they leave Jerusalem to go back home. On the way, they realise that the boy Jesus is not with them, so they come back probably half the way and search for the boy Jesus. They finally find him in the temple “sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions”. They get annoyed with him and ask him why he did such a thing. Then comes the profound answer from Jesus, who is just 12 years old at that time. He says (I read from the NKJV) Luke 2:49 “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”. Other translations put it as “Did you not know that I had to be in my Father’s house?”. The original Greek version uses an expression which could be translated as House, or business or Father’s matters or Things. I like the NJKV translation here. Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” This one sentence sums up Jesus’ mission, the whole purpose of his coming to this earth. To complete His Father’s business.