Sunday, June 20, 2010
Lessons Learned #1--Fatherhood Lessons from my Heavenly Father
This morning we are going to do something a little different. The sermon is broken up into three parts. When I was trying to think about what I should say for Father’s Day, a number of things ran through my head. I opted for something kind of similar to my article in the Tribune the other week.
What I want to share with you this Sunday, very briefly, are some lessons I have learned about who God as a heavenly father from my two-weeks as an earthly father. I realize this is dangerous because, well, I don’t have a lot of time on the job. On the other hand, being fresh to the fatherhood experience, I might have some perspective that might bear reminding for some of us.
Anyway, not a lot of this is really based on my experience. It is based on the word of God, and some Scriptures that teach us about the love and character of our Heavenly Father.
The first passage is this one, from the minor prophets:
17 The LORD your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.”
The prophet Zephaniah writes this to Israelites as they were exile. He points them to a future hope when they will again be at home, and again be at peace. To give them a picture of what this is going to be like, he gives them an image of a Father caring for his young child, possibly as the child is just born. It talks about God being full of rejoicing over us, trying to lovingly quiet us, and singing over us.
When Karis was born, I was lucky enough to spend the first moments of her life with her. I assisted in the delivery by holding and pushing against one of Jennifer’s legs. Karis greeted her mother. I cut the cord. I carried her over to the little burrito warmer. I helped the nurse with the footprints, the weight, and the measurements. They cleaned her and swaddled her. I held her as they were finishing caring for Jennifer. I got to rock her.
As I began to hold her she whimpered a little. I talked to her and welcomed her to the world. I told her how lucky I was that out of all the little girls in all of the world, God had given me the best one. She quieted and kind of put her eyes in my direction. I sang over her. I sang songs I knew, and songs I just made up for the occasion—which I am known to do. I may have even shed a few tears. She was one of the most beautiful people I had ever seen.
That tenderness I felt as I held that new life in my arms—that tenderness you have felt with your own children—that is the kind of love God has for those who are his faithful children. Those who are born again.
God says that your life may be difficult. You may have felt isolated and alone, like those Jews who spent a generation in exile. But you can count on the hope that at the end of your heartache and despair, your isolation and loneliness, that God will sweep you up in his arms. Like a little child that is newly born he will rejoice over and sing over you, he will comfort you with his love.
He won’t do this because of anything you have done or anything you can do. He will love you like a tenderly loving father because you are his, and he is yours, and to your Heavenly Father you are one of the most precious and beautiful things he has ever seen.