June 21, 2020

Honoring Our Fathers, Spiritual Fathers, and the Heavenly Father

I spent today driving through rural mountainsides in West Virginia - Appalachia. Seldom do I get the opportunity to relax, spend time with my husband, and enjoy God’s creation in a pristine natural setting. At one point this afternoon, deep in a wilderness forest with the windows open, I exclaimed “It smells like Jesus!” I could feel it in my soul.

I also noticed something else. When I first moved to West Virginia (almost 8 years ago) I was totally startled by family cemeteries. I had not encountered them before and kind of shook my head wondering why families would choose that. Today I acknowledged that I have come to appreciate family cemeteries in a way I never would have imagined. They make a significant statement of ties to a family, to a commitment to one another in a way that is often missing in our culture today. It speaks volumes of a love and respect that goes beyond the earthly relationship that we know can be broken and difficult. It shows a permanent relationship unlike most that we find today in our “throw-away, disposable” world. It reminded me of the relationship I have with Christ, of the love He has for me.

Now I am not suggesting we all switch to family cemeteries. But, as today is the day for honoring fathers, I would ask you to consider a couple thoughts. Deuteronomy 1.31 (NLT) says: “And you saw how the Lord your God cared for you all along the way as you traveled through the wilderness, just as a father cares for his child. Now he has brought you to this place.” God, your Heavenly Father has brought you to this place. Are you honoring Him in all you do ... as He cared for you? Are you showing Him the respect He is due, thanking Him for the care, love, provisions ... you have received?

Have you called your earthly father? Have you, as best you can, honored him? The 4th of the 10 commandments requires we do this. So having said that ... I would like to acknowledge my father .. Bob McCann. I love you Daddy, but more than that, I respect you. We have not always seen eye to eye, sometimes I think we didn’t much like each other, but I always loved and respected you. I am grateful that God has given us time and years to resolve the challenges of my youth. So today, know that I have been blessed ... God knew who would be the best Daddy for me ... and He gave me to you. Happy Fathers Day ... to all the fathers in my life, and to all who have had the privilege to be a father to someone.

Love and Prayers,

Pastor Deb