Sunday, June 15, 2008

A Day for the Father

As you all know, today was Father's day here in the U.S. This day was the culmination of an emotional and very prayerful weekend for many in the congregation where I attend church. It began Friday morning when my friend Kerri messaged me through Facebook that one of the elderly members of our church had been involved in a single car accident and that his condition was very critical. What has played out over the past 60 hours has made me realized just how entrenched I am in Christ's kingdom here on earth.

Without going into very much detail I will simply say that when you see a group of people rally around an individual and his family the way that this congregation rallied this weekend to make sure that every need is met, it leaves you speechless. Add on top of that the fact that all who did so kept in mind that God's will is going to be done regardless and the experience leaves you breathless. There were prayers sent to God for comfort, understanding, safety, rest, and even literal parting of the clouds so that this man could be transferred by helicoptor to better care. All of this culminated in an event this morning at church that could only take place in the presence of righteous men.

I have to clarify here that the individual involved in this accident and his wife are like parents to all of us who know them. They are everything a Christian should be. You will never meet two more charitable people in your life. That being said, everyone's hearts were heavy as we gathered to worhsip God as a family this morning. A buzz of the latest updates on his health was prevelant before the worship time began and remarks of his courage and strength were prevelant.

No prayer was said during this time that did not beg the Lord for something that none of us even know how to ask for. Then, the sermon. My father spoke this morning and I can say that there are only a handful of times that I have ever been prouder of him (I love you Dad even though you don't have the internet or a computer and you probably will never read that). My father suggested that our congregation take the time to stop and pray for this beloved man who is like a father to all of us. He suggested that any man want to pray aloud with this congregation and in God's presence that they take this time and do so. As the first two men prayed, a nephew of the gentleman made his way to the front to pray as he kneeled behind the first pew. Well, dad jumped the gun during this man's walk to the front and closed the prayer time. He then proceeded with his lesson about Jonah and fathers (I know, those two don't seem to go together but it was actually very good).

Following the lesson, another of our elders who I know this day is especially hard for as he has had a son die, made way for this nephew to be able to offer his prayer. By the time he was finished, there were only a few dry eyes in the building and there was nothing else left to ask for. I write all this to say this: I can think of no greater honor for our Heavenly Father than to say to God "I have no control over this, I need you to step in, please Father, take this burden and do as you wish." As a father of two small sons, I am so happy that they were able to be a part of this powerful event and I thank God that they could see the helplessness of so many Christians and what it is we do when we don't understand. I was fortunate enough to get to make the final remarks at church tonight prior to leading the closing song. I asked our congregation to not allow ourselves to only rely on God during the bad times but to take the closeness that all of us felt to God on this day and never let it go.

To call this Father's Day a happy one would not be right, but to call it a day for the true Father would be accurate.

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