Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Father’s Day Marquee

During the week leading to Father’s Day I saw the following on a church’s marquee:

The greatest gift that a father can give to his children is himself.

How sad that a church claiming to be Christian would be so blatantly ungodly and anti-Christian.

The greatest gift that a father can give to his children is the gift that The Father gave to His children, Christ.

What else can an earthly father do that will never fail his children? The very best thing that a father can do is to consider 1 Corinthians 11 and take it to heart so that he examines himself to see that he and his children are securely abiding in a congregation where the means of grace are administered purely. Then, he and his family will be kept in the true faith all their days and as he daily teaches the faith to his children, they will know whom they may trust without doubting.

God’s gift to His children is Jesus. Of all the multitudinous blessings that God pours out graciously to mankind, nothing matches the gift of His only begotten Son. Earthly fathers who truly know Jesus, realize that this is the only sure and unfailing gift that they can give to their families.

Besides, God has already given the fathers to their children. Fathers have been appointed a specific number of days in which to live. No man can give himself to his children. No man can guarantee that he will be available for his children.

But every father can bring his children to the waters of life in Baptism. Every father can bring his children to the Supper of life to be fed the body and blood of their Salvation. Every father can catechize his children in the faith by which they may live and die without fear, knowing that their heavenly Father loves them.

Any father that gives this to his children will have empowered them to face every situation of life. He will have provided for them in such a way that they will give thanks forever.

This is what I reminded my own father on those occasions where he confessed his failures with a heavy heart. There were several times that he cried out that he believed himself to be a failure as a father. My response was that he had given us Jesus and that any father who has done this has given his children everything that they need. Of course, my first response was to remind him of his baptism by which God had sealed him in His forgiveness for any and every failure. But any father who catechizes his children so that they can remind him of his baptism when he turns back to his sins, and who hears such from his children, may know for a certainty that he has not failed them.

Oh, that the fathers in the Church would do this! If only the pastors would give the people Jesus through the means that He has promised to come to the Church. If only they would stop trying to outdo the Father and would do as He has manifested as the truly fatherly way.

Give the children the pure means of grace so that they may receive nothing but Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Then they will know that their earthly fathers truly love them, even as their heavenly Father loves them.

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