Isaiah 40:28-31;———–2 Timothy 3:10-17———— June 20, 2021
Praise to Our Fathers
Elaine York, Commissioned Lay Pastor
This morning I will speak of three kinds of fathers. One, our biological fathers, grandfathers and great grandfathers. Do we have any great grandfathers here today? Please raise your hands!
Second, we will talk about step fathers, father’s through adoption, uncles, mentors and any other significant men in the lives of children. And third, we will give praise and honor to our Heavenly Father.
I have been blessed to have been born into a loving Presbyterian family. At birth, my father was an elder in my Presbyterian Church on the Buildings and Grounds Committee. My Dad only finished High School and worked as a machinist and a security guard. These jobs left him time to be the friendliest person on the block, the one to go to to fix all the kids’ bikes, skates and sporting equipment. He even built us some questionable trick or treat tools for scaring our neighbors. They had notched wooden spools with handles and string to pull against windows. Each Sunday we all gathered in the station wagon and went to church as a 3 generational family. Sadly, my Dad died when I was just 34 of cancer. I will always think of him whenever I smell newly cut grass as he owned 12 lawn mowers and loved to cut grass on several different properties. We have lots of grass in Ohio. We have a poster of him on his riding mower with 11 more mowers lined up behind him. One of my father’s favorite quotes was, I can hardly wait until you get a house of your own, ! ‘m going to come over and open your refrigerator and just stand there staring for the longest time.” When I was a junior in college, I was offered a scholarship that I was the only one who qualified for. I told my family and my Dad asked me not to apply because he wanted to pay for my tuition himself. How proud he was.
A joke concerning father’s, is about a teenage girl that had just gotten her learner’s permit to drive. Out they went to the car. The girl got in the driver’s seat and the Dad got into the seat directly behind her. She exclaimed, “Dad why are you sitting back there?” He replied, “Since you were a toddler, I dreamed of sitting behind you while driving and kicking and kicking your seat.”
And now let us examine our Old Testament reading from Isaiah 40:28-32. These verses come from the so called “Second Isaiah” presupposing an Israelite audience living in Babylon toward the end of the Babylonian exile. The verses reassure the exiles that God still controls history. We can take such comfort in knowing that the Lord is the everlasting God and even as youth grow weary those who wait for the Lord will have their strength renewed. This now applies to all of us -father’s and Grandfather’s as well. Oh to have “wings like eagles.”
Many of you know of my daughter, Marilyn York, a Men’s Rights Attorney here in Reno. She asked me to relate a few statistics from one of her TV commercials. Children with Father’s in their lives are 6 times less likely to drop out of school, 15 times less likely to go to prison and 5 times less likely to commit suicide. These statistics are staggering to me. Dad’s you have an immense influence on your children. This may be the most difficult role and the most rewarding role you will ever play in your life. Of course those of you here today know that “God Is Always At Home.” He is always with you and awaiting your prayers, your cries for help and your need for His advice. A well known scripture lays it on the line,” Train children in the right way, and when old, they will not stray.” Proverbs 22:6.
Our second group of fathers includes stepfathers, fathers of adopted children, uncles and mentors and other significant men in the lives of children. Did you ever think about the fact that Jesus had a stepfather and He certainly turned out amazing.
A quote from Max Lucado “Adoptive parents understand God’s passion to adopt us. They know what it means to fill an empty space inside. They know what is means to hunt, to set out on a mission, and to take responsibility for a child with a spotted past and a dubious future. If anybody understands God’s ardor for his children, it’s someone who has rescued an orphan from despair, for that is what God has done for us.”
The word “mentor” is defined as “a wise and trusted counselor.
Examples of mentors include Moses and the Israelites, Paul and Timothy, Samuel and Eli and Jesus and His disciples.
In my own life, my grandmother, a college professor and Reverend Tom Baughman were mentors to me. St. John’s former Pastor, Tom Baughman sponsored me to become a Commissioned Lay Pastor and has been my help ever since, even coming to Austin to help me with my presentations at the seminary. I’m sure all of you have had mentors in your lives.
Best of all, strive to be a mentor.
A trained Psychologist named Christopher Bacorn from Texas poses this question, “What would happen if the truant fathers of America began spending time with their children? If these fathers were to spend more time with their children, it might just have an effect on the future of marriage and divorce.
You know without Jesus Christ in our lives, we might be an absentee father, We too might be on the golf course, tennis court, bowling alley, on the lake fishing, or working from early morning until late at night.
And now our third kind of father–Our Heavenly Father. No matter what kind of father you had, as a believing Christian you have a Father that surpasses all others. According to scriptures, this Father has loved you with an everlasting love, he knows what you need before you ask Him, He will give you good gifts if you ask Him, He will never leave you, He will strengthen you and uphold you and He has claimed you as His child.
And now for some fun. Here are some Healthy Father’s Day Activities to do with your children and grandchildren. Show off your green thumb by planting something, prepare a healthy meal together, toss a ball, take a hike, build something, go for a swim, go fishing. play miniature golf, take a field trip, help with VBS and most important of all, come to church together.
In a Faithlife Sermon, we read, A godly life is a life in a godly manner. The only example we truly have of a life lived in a way that god would live it is Jesus. So Paul is saying, all who desire, all whose heart and will are determined to live a life that truly honors and glorifies God is a life that looks like Jesus.
Let us pray,
Thank you Jesus, for my father who loves me, for my grandfather who cares for me, and the God, your father and mine, who made me and is always with me.