Father’s Day (by Rev. Abel Pol)
This Father’s Day post is by a special guest blogger. My Pastor, Rev. Abel Pol, who just recently became a pastor and a father in the past year, was gracious enough to lend his love of the gospel and his skill in writing to this blog. Happy Father’s day.
If you have a good relationship with your father, Father’s day can be a great opportunity to celebrate it. A good father can provide a stability in childhood that follows you throughout your adult years. I’ve been blessed with that kind of father. He isn’t perfect, but he was there when it counted. He provided the male stability in my life that I needed so badly during the critical teen years, when the decisions are made that will shape your future. He was an endless source of encouragement and advice, yet intuitively knew when to step in and when to back off. We have a wonderful relationship that has only deepened over time.
I’m very grateful for the relationship I have with my father, especially because I know that nowadays you can’t take that kind of thing for granted. Not everyone feels like celebrating Father’s day. Some of you had a father who was always critical of you, or he was never available to you, or he walked out on you. In all of these cases, the final result is estrangement. This man is your father in name only. You don’t have any kind of meaningful relationship with him.
Christians often address God as “father”. Does it mean anything? The Bible says that all of us have been estranged from God. He’s a stranger to us. Our relationship with him has been thoroughly disrupted. But this is not because God walked out on us! This is because of sin. Sin is when we go our own way instead of God’s way. That’s why sin by definition always separates us from God. Sometimes people sense that separation, and so they try to reconnect with God through various religious or ceremonial rituals. None of these things are going to work, because our estrangement from God is so complete.
Our relationship with God is so broken that only he can restore it. And he did. The story of the Bible is the story of the biggest rescue operation in history. God sent Jesus Christ his son on a mission to be born as one of us. Jesus showed people what God is really like. But they were so estranged from God that they betrayed and killed him. You would think the story ends there, but it doesn’t. His death was necessary to take away sin. God proved that by raising him from the dead. Those who ask, receive forgiveness – that means their sins are erased – and so they can have a restored relationship with God. This relationship is so close that the Bible refers to it in terms of fatherhood. Believers may address God as “Father.” This means they have a relationship of mutual love with him, and they trust him completely. Even the best earthly father makes mistakes. But the heavenly Father never makes mistakes, and he will never walk out on his children.
I don’t know what your relationship with your father was like. But I do know that through Jesus Christ, God can become your Father too. And then every day can be Father’s day.