Pastor’s viewpoint: June 11, 2016
Several years ago, the Woodland-Bold Springs UMC spent a week in prayer, during which members wrote a single word on yellow 3×5 cards. We wanted to find the one thing God was calling us to do in our community and the most common word on those yellow cards was “prayer.”
We’ve done lots of “prayer things” and right now we’re asking 500 people to join us in saying the Lord’s Prayer at noon every day. We’re also going to take a look at the Lord’s Prayer, beginning with “Our Father who art in heaven.”
Father, according to the dictionary, means “a male parent.” Physically, a father is the sperm donor. Emotionally, a father loves his child. Psychologically, a father raises his child with certain values. Socially, a father teaches his child about life. Maybe the basic meaning of father is “creator?” He first creates the child and, over the next 15-20 years, he creates the man or woman that child will become.
According to toptenz.net, the first three of the top 10 fathers include, God the Father whose son Jesus gave his life for our sins, King David who raised Solomon to become the wisest man of his time, and Erik the Red who raised his son Leif Erickson to become the first European to visit North America, 500 years before Christopher Columbus.
John wrote about Jesus’ mission in Revelation 1:4-8, “To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father — to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.” Jesus lived to serve his Father and enables us to serve him too.
I typed “best father” into an Internet search engine and up popped a “best dad ever” t-shirt on Amazon. I laughed, but realized I’d found my answer; the best dad in my life is the one I grew up with. I am who I am because my dad loved me, raised me with certain values, and taught me about life. And now my head and my heart are filled with the lessons he passed on to me from his own father … and I passed on to my two sons.
Charles ‘Buddy’ Whatley is a retired pastor serving the Woodland-Bold Springs UMC, a marketplace chaplain, and with Mary Ella, a missionary to the Navajo Reservation in Arizona.