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Father's Day 2016 Posted 6.16.2016

It is Father’s Day.  It has a totally different vibe than Mother’s Day.  Right?  It is much less emotional and though you have to be really nice to moms in May, not so much with dads in June. In some ways, we might even skip the celebration – except that I am firmly convinced that the Bible ought to govern everything that we do.  Part of a biblical mindset is to let the Scripture influence our celebrations.  And if we are going to do something for mom…then we have to do something for dad.  His biblical role, just like mom, is significant.

 

So today we honor dad.  At least we try to do so.  My dad turned 92 this week. He also had a doctor visit and was deemed in excellent health.  That’s good news.  My dad worked on the Southern Pacific railroad for over 40 years.  He met my mom when he was switching boxcars down in the harbor.  She worked in the office of the Harbor Belt Line and they met and fell in love.  The rest – including two amazing kids – is history.

 

Do you ever wonder how Father's Day got started?  It all began because a woman wanted to thank her father for all he had done for her and her family.  Sonora Dodd was 16 when her mother died in childbirth.  Her father, Civil War veteran William Smart, raised six children all alone. She thought of him while listening to a Mother’s Day sermon and began to lobby for the cause of fathers.  The first sign of her success was in Spokane, Washington, when the community celebrated its first Father’s Day on June 19, 1910.

 

It wasn't until 1966 that Father's Day was declared a national holiday in the U.S. by Lyndon Johnson and it wasn't a permanent fixture until Richard Nixon declared it so in 1972.

 

The Bible is clear about how we are to treat dads.  We are to honor them, which is actually the first biblical command that has a promised attached to it.  To obey that instruction brings long life on the earth.  There is some aspect of honoring that will keep you on the heathy, narrow path, because dad has been there before and can warn of the pitfalls of life.

 

No dad is perfect.  Not one.  But that doesn’t mean you get a pass from honoring him.  The command is still to listen, obey, love, forgive, hug, and appreciate your father.  Dads aren’t perfect, they all make mistakes, but that does not excuse our periodic disrespect.

 

So I’m sure we’ll see my dad today.  He is without a doubt my biggest fan.  He lobbied for a raise for me during my first Sunday as pastor here at Peninsula.  I call him every day (well, just about) and he always asks how the church is doing.  He misses my mom every day, but we don’t talk about it much.  He has taught me the value of hard work and perseverance and humble, faithful service.  And my kids say I am inheriting his unique sense of humor more and more.  That could spell trouble in your future.  But today, honor dad!

 


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