I think it’s safe to say some men will be looking to take this Sunday off of church. I mean, it’s not like it’s a happy day for many of us. Father’s Day usually brings a message of condemnation, if it’s not ignored. I am thankful that at my church, we tend to treat Mother’s and Father’s Day with the same level of respect. We wish each well, and that’s about it, which often is the best approach.
But as we came up to Father’s Day this year, I started to think about the good news that fatherhood brings. I mean, I have a great deal to be thankful for. My son always wants to play with me. My girls love to go on dates. All my kids are always eager for hugs and often make me risk being late because they want so many. I’m sure there are many dads who could say the same.
Good news about the best Father
But there’s something better still. There’s the good news—the great news—we find when we think about God as our Father. And I don’t mean this in the general way people try to say we’re all God’s children. In all honesty, I don’t think that point of view does justice to God’s character. No, the good news is much better. It’s not a generality—it’s a specific truth. If we are in Christ, we part of God’s family.
I love how Charles Spurgeon shared this good news in a sermon he preached 1858. He said,
I have never been able to see that creation necessarily implies fatherhood. I believe God has made many things that are not his children. Hath he not made the heavens and the earth, the sea and the fullness thereof? and are they his children? You say these are not rational and intelligent beings; but he made the angels, who stand in an eminently high and holy position, are they his children?
“Unto which of the angels said he at any time, thou art my son?” I do not find, as a rule, that angels are called the children of God; and I must demur to the idea that mere creation brings God necessarily into the relationship of a Father. Doth not the potter make vessels of clay? But is the potter the father of the vase, or of the bottle?
No, beloved, it needs something beyond creation to constitute the relationship, and those who can say, “Our Father which art in heaven,” are something more than God’s creatures: they have been adopted into his family. He has taken them out of the old black family in which they were born; he has washed them. and cleansed them, and given them a new name and a new spirit, and made them “heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ;” and all this of his own free, sovereign, unmerited, distinguishing grace.
Sons and daughters of a good Father
Do you get a sense of the good news here? We’re not just his creations, but his children. We are not just servants, but sons and daughters. We aren’t just stewards, but heirs—co-heirs with Christ! That’s what I’m talking about when I say God’s Fatherhood is great news!
For many of us, our experiences with our earthly fathers make it difficult to consistently see the good news here. Maybe you’re in that position, If so, I hope you don’t find this insensitive. And at the same time, I hope you will see this good news as it really is.
The Creator of the universe calls us his own. He adopts us as “sons”—we are his children. When God calls himself our Father, he really means it! He will never leave us or forsake us. He will never disappoint us. He will always deliver on what he promises (even if it’s not always what we think we want). So, how can we do anything but celebrate?