Forgetting Our Father
Sunday, June 21st of 2020
I heard minister Brett Blair saying that in his younger days when his children were small, he would have family meetings. These meetings were to discuss chores and family matters, trips, etc. Yet, he admitted, when he would call these meetings, the expression on his children's faces would usually be: "what have we done wrong now." Finally, he said, my wife pointed out to me that the tone in my voice when I called these meetings were solemn, the tone he used when he disciplined his children. Thus, they responded with apprehension. Thought it, I wonder if that is not similar to the response that many people have when they have a meeting with God.
They come to him with the feeling: Well, we must really be in trouble now. Despite all of the talk that we do in the church about how God loves us, I get the distinct impression that many feel that God just puts up with them. I have even talked with some people who drew a distinction between Christ's love and God's attitude over the years. They see Christ as the One who holds back the wrath of an angry God. The impression is that, if it were not for Christ, God would love to get his hands on us.
Or I heard from my own father saying: "We use a soldier and God the same way only when we need it". Remember, "Our Father who is in heaven" . Today I miss my dad. soldier is in heaven with our heavenly Father. My father die a few years ago in a long term residence hospital.
Today is Father's Day. Our most fervent prayer is that when our boys and girls look at their Dads, they see God's love reflected in their dad's eyes. Of course, not every dad is a great dad. In fact, dads don't get much respect in our society nowadays. It's not always easy to be a dad, but we know that we have many fine dads in our church family, and we give God thanks for them.
In today's lesson from Matthew's Gospel, verses 29-31, Jesus says something quite remarkable about his Daddy. After all, that is what he called his Heavenly Father "Abba", Daddy. Christ is sending his twelve disciples out into the world where He knows they will experience not only the opposition but also persecution. He gives them these instructions: "So do not be afraid of them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed or hidden that will not be made known. What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell . . ." Then he adds these beautiful words of comfort: "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father's care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows."
We have heard those words so often that we probably have lost a sense of how amazing they are but think about it. There may be millions of sparrows in the world. The sparrow is such a common bird and so numerous that often it is considered a pest. But sparrows can be found nearly everywhere on earth. From New Delhi, India to Santiago, Chile; from London, England to Sydney, Australia; they are, indeed, ubiquitous. Some studies indicate that, due to climate change, there are fewer sparrows than there used to be. In fact, a survey published last Fall in the Journal Science reported that there are nearly 3 billion, yes, I said billion with a b, 3 billion less birds altogether than there were half a century ago, probably for a variety of reasons. We live in a complicated environment. Among those most threatened, according to the survey, are sparrows. Still, the number of sparrows in the world is quite staggering.
Now think about Christ's statement: "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father's care." Could God possibly care that much about one tiny sparrow among the millions that fill the sky? And think of his second statement: "And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered." Now some of us don't have as much hair as we once did. But Jesus is saying that God's knowledge of each of us is so extensive (or should we say intensive?) that God knows every hair on our head. Wow, that's amazing!
In your festivities for Fathers' day have a thought for your Father in heaven, may this Father bless you with all the love that you need and deserve...
Rev. Eric Michel Archbishop
Please read Tanya post of father's day in Nova Scotia Prayer Group https://faithlife.com/iaoc-e-nova-scotia/activity