On June 21, Father’s Day will be celebrated by most families in the Western world. It’s a time when many set aside at least a few hours (and dollars) to show appreciation for the first and primary male leader in their lives. It’s a good time to reflect and offer gratitude and to acknowledge the blessing of having this source of guidance and love. Although it’s regrettable that some of us are unable to tap into memories or the living reality of a positive relationship with a biological father, for many, the symbolism and heritage is spiritually and emotionally meaningful. Father God, however, avails Himself for all.
It may come as a surprise to many Christians that the sense of intimacy evoked by this aspect of the Godhead (i.e. God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) was not always so pronounced. The Old Testament tradition was different. In fact, any intimation that God could be referred to as “Father” is all but missing in that part of the traditional (monotheistic) position that there is only one God. God was more often thought of as leader or judge. However, when we arrive at the New Testament, there is an explosion of intimacy and the primary source for this revelation is Jesus Himself. And this is profound indeed.
There’s no reason to believe that people were a whole lot different in small communities like Nazareth in Jesus’ day than they are in ours today. Almost without a doubt, Jesus would have become aware of the rumours. His mother was a virgin? Visited by an angel? Joseph? You know how people are. Yet, the full-on revelation via Jesus was centred on the truth that God is His Father. Powerful.
Beyond that revelation is the unfathomable wonder that is our invitation to adoption. Jesus welcomes us to this family as brothers and sisters. Wow. We have an awesome invitation to connection—to our Eternal Father on this Father’s Day. Whether or not we grew up with the strong, guiding presence of our natural father, we have solid assurance—that of being invited into the family of our Eternal Father.
Dear Father, we offer prayerful tokens of acknowledgement and gratitude. The implications of Christ’s revelation are immense. Let our recognition and repentance be as incense before Your throne.
In this darkness of our current age help us to understand and lay hold of Your gift and the promise that has been delivered by Your Son, our Saviour. Help us to realize that it’s not only the economy that is suffering and needs restoration. Rather, it’s our relationship with You. Continue to guide us through the challenges of this world by Your guiding light of hope and truth, and through the gentle example of our Saviour.
Grant us focused attention and encouragement to wear our assurance with grace and love as we continue to live out our daily lives. As we engage with the lost, may our own repentance and the hope we carry speak humility and truth to the masses in such a way as to brightly reflect the reality of your kingdom. May their eyes, hearts and understanding be awakened and lead many to the path of salvation.
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Matthew 6:9—“This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.”
Matthew 10:32—“Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.”
Matthew 12:50—“For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”
Matthew 16:17—Jesus replied, Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven.”
Matthew 7:11—“If you, then, 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!”
Matthew 23:9—“And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven.”
Watch for our July Every Day Faith e-blast which will begin with a focus on July 1, Canada Day, and will lead us in ways we can be praying for our nation. Mission Canada will be highlighting stories in our “Transforming Canada Together” focus throughout the month of July on paoc.org and through their social media feeds. Our Fellowship has pivoted and responded to God’s leading in incredible ways to continue to bring the good news of Jesus to our communities from coast to coast during this time of isolation and during a global pandemic. You will be encouraged as you hear how God is at work in us and through us as the PAOC family in Canada. The Church is still very much alive and active, and God reigns supreme!
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