Summary: This sermon was written the night my son was born. I gave it when he was 2 days old. It focuses on the love of a father, especially in the context of John 3:16. How great is a Father’s love?
“My Son (Eli) is Born!” (I Can’t Help It)
Friday morning… at 7:42 am… central standard time… hurricane Eli made landfall. A devastating storm… we predict thousands and thousands of dollars worth of damage. There will be many a sleepless night following the arrival of this super storm… and untold damage is already being done to my office hours and sermon prep day. In fact… next week’s sermon is titled… “Jesus is Good… and Stuff,” the next week’s is titled “My Shortest Sermon Ever,” and the week after that is titled “I’m Just Mailing it in Now.” Please come back to hear those bombshell sermons.
It is only a matter of time before this perfect storm causes Alyssa and I to argue over the silliest of things, for William to become blinded by a jealous rage, for my entire family to be flipped upside down in the tumultuous storm. There will be a day… in the not too distant future… where I will be wearing a shirt… a tie… with a side of baby spit up… and I’ll be so tired… I won’t even care! I’ll pretend its some funky new fad… that it’s the in thing! And it’s going to be awful.
And yet… despite all of the damage Eli will cause, despite all the trouble Eli will stir up, despite all of the ways in which Eli will completely turn my world upside… I can’t help it… I just can’t help it… I already love him. Despite everything… he’s my son, and I love him. That’s being a father for you.
What can he do to fall out of my love? What can he possibly ever do… that could make me not feel love for him. The answer… is nothing. It’s just the way love of a parent is. It is a true love that is blind and indifferent… strong and steadfast… endless and overwhelming.
Now… as many of you know… this “love of a parent”… goes way beyond just a general sense of well wishing and hope for our children… it is a love that will protect our children at any cost. I know… deep down somewhere… if it is absolutely needed… there is a black-belt Ninja somewhere inside all of us!
Underneath this soft pastor exterior he lies… just under the surface… lurking in the dark shadows… waiting to spring into action if someone tries to mess with my son. Hi-Ya! I’m not even kidding… under the right circumstances, I know Kung-Fu, Ninjitsu, Karate, Tae-Kwon-Do, and three other really big Chinese words! The love of a parent, makes us capable of doing things we never knew we were capable of doing.
This love of a parent goes way beyond just protection from danger… it also means that we would do just about anything to help our children avoid any unnecessary and any unwarranted pain. We’ll do just about anything to ensure that they won’t get hurt… my house is so baby proofed right now it is like Fort Knox… I would’ve had some juice this morning for breakfast… but I didn’t want to mess with the nine digit key code on the fridge. And I’m told it doesn’t stop when they get older either... you will always be their parent… they will always be your child… and you will always want to protect them.
Knowing all of this, I’ve had to reexamine some of my basic understandings about God. You see… I’m beginning to think that God, was a really terrible dad. No really… all of the evidence points to it. Here you go son… unlimited cosmic power… but you can’t use any of it on yourself! It would be like handing me the keys to the corvette and saying I can only drive it five miles an hour and only to get groceries for Alyssa. (physical signs of great discomfort).
Alright son… as soon as you turn thirty and it’s about time to take over the carpentry business, and you want to settle down with a family… I’m going to send you on a two year camping trip with twelve other smelly guys instead. Then, while you are out there you will be constantly bombarded by crowds, harassed by the church officers, persecuted by the government, and finally left all alone without a single friend at your side. And when everything in your body makes you want to run from your mission… I am going to allow you to suffer great humiliation, severe torture, and death on a cross, and here’s the kicker son… it’s all part of my plan! I WANT you to go through all of this suffering. I gotta tell you… God doesn’t get my vote for father of the year. At least… not from Jesus’ perspective.
But what about all of his other children? What do you think they would have to say about him? You know… the millions and millions others who call God father! Lets look at Romans chapter 8 to get us started: