Summary: Almighty God, the Creator of the Universe, the Eternal, the Lord of Hosts, the Father of Jesus, can be your heavenly Father too if you come to Him by faith in His only-begotten Son.
Matthew 10: 28-33
Sermon: Father's love.
Today is "Fathers' Day", when we should all be grateful for our dads,
and if they are still alive, we should let them know how much we appreciate them,
but from a Christian point of view,
today is the day when we rejoice that the Creator and eternal God,
the King of kings and lord of lords,
is not a remote "Force" at the other end of the Universe,
but is our Heavenly Father,
and He loves us much more than any human father, or mother, could.
I recently read an article by a minister
who had been invited to preach to a church Congregation in Holland.
His visit coincided with the Dutch Day of Remembrance,
held each year on the anniversary of Holland’s liberation from the Nazis.
His talk was preceded by several readings by members of the congregation.
One reading, by a teenage girl. was unforgettable.
She had chosen to read a piece written by someone who had found a diary
kept by their father during the war.
Here it is (quote):
22 February 1943, tonight, eight o’clock - a Jew hunt.
Together with G and D, I arrested 24 Jews in Weesperstraat in Amsterdam.
12 March 1943, tonight, Jew hunt; very successful night I have arrested around 100 Jews in three weeks This morning got home at 3.30am.
This is what my father wrote in a small diary during World War 2.
I was a baby in 1943.
My father was a Nazi and received extra rations, like bread and cheese,
for helping the Germans to find Jews who were hiding from them.
For every Jew he arrested, he received 7.50 Guilders - three silver coins.
People like him were called "Jew catchers".
I don't know whether my father knew that every Jew he handed over to the Germans
would be gassed.
He probably did.
I have wondered a thousand times why he did that; betrayed Jews;
I know my family was poor and we had no money.
So my mother really needed the money he got from the Germans.
My mother told me that my father believed in Hitler,
because he promised the common people work, money and power.
And when you are poor and have no work you believe words like these.
After the war, my father was arrested,
and put in prison for five years.
I was nine when he was released.
I have never been able to talk about the war with him.
l am still ashamed of my father, and I had better not tell you my surname.
I wish I had a father I could be proud of.
I only hope people don’t judge me because of what my father did.’
She was obviously, and rightfully, ashamed of her father.
On the other hand, there is a children's story about two boys
talking at school about the clubs they went to at night.
One said he was frightened when he went out, if it was dark;
but the other one said he was never afraid to go out at night,
no matter how dark it was.
The first boy asked why that was;
the second said, it was because his father went with him.
The presence of his father, gave the boy courage, strength and peace.
One thing I remember about my dad
was that he bought me a second hand Viking racing bike
for my 13th birthday.
I found out later that it cost him £13
and his weekly wage as a coal miner at that time was £12.
I am sure we could all tell stories about our dads,
but no matter what kind of human father we have or had,
as Christians we have a heavenly Father who no-one could ever better.
Some people think Christianity is a cheeky religion,
a presumptuous religion.
‘Fancy calling Almighty God, Father!’
‘Fancy calling the creator of the Universe, Father!’
And not only ‘Father’, but ‘Abba’, ‘Daddy’!
But Jesus called Him Father, e.g. in Luke 23 verse 34
when he was dying on the cross;
he cried out ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do’.
But that was something he COULD DO, our critics say, because God WAS his Father.
So we must direct them to Matthew 5 verse 16, in the early part of the Sermon on the Mount,
where Jesus said:
‘Let your light shine before men that they may see your good works and praise YOUR FATHER who is in heaven’.
And in Matthew 6 when he was teaching his followers how to pray, he said:
This is how you should pray:
‘OUR Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name’ etc.,
as we say often in our worship services and private prayers.
Jesus could validly and accurately have told them: