Summary: A sermon for Father’s Day.
“Turn the Page” by: Rev. Ken Sauer, Pastor, Grace UMC, Soddy Daisy, TN www.graceumcsd.org
I am told that when I was just a “wee little boy” maybe around Mary Ellen’s age I made a big decision.
I crossed my arms and took my stand, “I’ve made up my mind. I’m not going to Sunday school anymore! Daddy doesn’t go; why should I?”
My poor dad.
He worked all week long, and then came home every night and weekend to three rambunctious little kids.
He didn’t get much of a break.
So Sunday mornings, during the Sunday school hour, my dad would stay home and take a little time for himself.
I’m sure he treasured those few moments.
But when I said, “Why should I have to go to Sunday school; dad doesn’t go…”
My father made a sacrifice; he gave up his few moments of peace and started going to Sunday school with the rest of the family.
He had plans for his kids.
He wanted us to grow up knowing God.
He wanted us to learn about the love of Jesus.
He wanted us to become all we could be!
So, dad made a sacrifice!
God has made a great sacrifice for us as well.
As the blood dripped from the wounds on the Cross…
…as Jesus cried out: “Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing”…
The ultimate sacrifice had been made…
…made for you…
…made for me…
…and made for all the world!!!
“For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Who could ask for anything more?
Those plans include you and those plans include me!
Those plans include Grace United Methodist Church…
…a small band of the faithful which began meeting here at 9833 Hixson Pike in a place called Soddy Daisy, Tennessee 20 years ago.
There was no building yet built on this former cow pasture.
The only thing here was the trailer that still sits behind the church—the one that is now used as a movie theatre and computer lab.
But God had and still has great plans for this Church!
Several pastors have come and gone.
Several hundred people have come and gone over the years…
…but the plans remain…
…the future is bright and the hope is alive!!!
My dad is a great man who made many, many sacrifices for his kids…
…just as you fathers, who are here today have made and continue to make.
But, oh, all us fathers are still just human.
We make all kinds of mistakes.
Many of the mistakes we make are not on purpose.
Some we make are because we are lost and broken people…often too selfish…
In Matthew Chapter 7 Jesus instructs, “Which of you, if his [child] asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him?”
We love our children, do we not?
I know I would do anything for mine!
I would jump off a cliff to save Mary Ellen’s life…
…I would rather give up my life than she have to give up her’s…
Just think, we—mere mortals…
…mere broken, selfish people…
…love our children this much…
…and yet our heavenly Father loves us even more!!!
Can YOU imagine that?
Paul instructs us in Romans Chapter 8 that the Holy Spirit, through faith in the death and resurrection of Christ as Lord, grants us to be daughters and sons of God!
And we cry, “Abba, Father.”
“Abba,” means daddy!!!
Did you know that when you cry out to God, you are calling out to your Daddy?
And your Daddy gave His Son so that you and I may live!!!...
…not only in the life to come, but in this life as well!!!
God’s plans for this church—of which each of you are a part—are great!
They include mighty deeds for this community which can only be done through the mighty love of God as you walk according the Holy Spirit.
And that means that you must be open to seeing this world through the eyes of Christ!!!
And the eyes of Christ are filled with empathy, grace, love and compassion.
In Matthew Chapter 9 we are told that Jesus, during His time on this earth, “went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.