Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 And even the hairs of your head are all counted. 31 So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows. Matthew 10: 29-31.
This past week, I gave you an assignment to set aside some time with God and complete a life-giving exercise. Find a quiet spot in your home, on your deck or on the greenway, and reflect on all the things God has done for you. Make a list of all the little and big ways that God has blessed and provided for you and your family. This exercise opens our eyes to God’s care and cultivates a grateful heart. Pastor George MacDonald wrote, “But we who are born again (in Christ), must wake our souls unnumbered times a day.” So often we walk through life with our eyes closed to loving God’s presence, robbing ourselves of the peace and purpose this truth brings.
This week, the sermon will explore the value of all lives in the eyes of God. Jesus encourages us to realize that even the smallest of creatures, the sparrows of the air, are not beneath the attention and care of God. This is a hopeful truth that leads us to see our lives and the lives of our neighbors in a whole new light.
I encourage you to complete the exercise before Sunday. May it open your eyes. As the prophet Isaiah said, “Sleeper awake, rise from the dead and Christ will shine on you.”
See you Sunday, -Chad
On this Father’s Day, we recognize the vast spectrum of experience and the often-complicated feelings that surround such a celebration. We honor those fathers and father figures in our lives who have loved, supported, encouraged and instructed us, and we seek to share these gifts with others. As I sought to find some words to both honor and capture the complexity of this day, I came across this prayer. May the words of this prayer become our own on this special day of honoring our fathers.
A Father’s Day Prayer
Let us praise those fathers who have striven to balance the demands of work, marriage, and children with an honest awareness of both joy and sacrifice.
Let us praise those fathers who, lacking a good model for a father, have worked to become a good father.
Let us praise those fathers who by their own account were not always there for their children, but who continue to offer those children, now grown, their love and support.
Let us pray for those fathers who have been wounded by the neglect and hostility of their children.
Let us praise those fathers who, despite divorce, have remained in their children’s lives.
Let us praise those fathers whose children are adopted, and whose love and support has offered healing.
Let us praise those fathers who, as stepfathers, freely choose the obligation of fatherhood and earned their stepchildren’s love and respect.
Let us praise those fathers who have lost a child to death, and continue to hold the child in their heart.
Let us praise those men who have no children, but cherish the next generation as if they were their own.
Let us praise those men who have “fathered” us in their role as mentors and guides.
Let us praise those men who are about to become fathers; may they openly delight in their children.
And let us praise those fathers who have died, but live on in our memory and whose love continues to nurture us.
By Kirk D. Loadman-Copeland