Dear Hope Church Family,
What a week it’s been for my family and me! Hannah and I welcomed our new son, William, on June 10th, and Winston is settling into his role as a big brother very well. We are so thankful for your prayers as we become a family of four, and we are so blessed by the many tangible ways you have already communicated your care to us. We truly love our Hope Church family, and we cannot wait for you to meet William soon!
Becoming the father of a second son has added a new layer of joy to a week that can already be emotional for me, and, I imagine, many others. This Sunday we get to celebrate the fathers in our lives. We give thanks for the men who have loved us, led us, disciplined us, and, we hope, discipled us toward Jesus. And we celebrate the men who are doing those things and more for our children. Our relationship with our fathers, or, our relationship with our children as fathers, is a powerful influence in our lives. It is one of the strongest places that we catch, in our own broken and finite ways, glimpses of the love of God our Father toward us. What a joy to celebrate such an amazing relationship this Sunday!
But, even as we give thanks for the fathers among us, we also know that Father’s Day can be painful for some. We know that in the sinfulness and brokenness of the world, some of us have difficult relationships with our fathers. Some of us would love to be a father, but have not yet been able to become one. Or others of us, like myself, have far too early lost our fathers whom we loved dearly. Even as I hold Winston and William in my arms this Sunday, I will deeply lament the fact that my father was not able to meet my two sons, his grandsons, on this earth.
In the midst of all those emotions, I’ve been reflecting this week on the well-known Parable of the Two Sons, also known as the Parable of the Prodigal Son. I have been particularly encouraged by Luke 15:20 – “But while [the younger son] was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.” Notice all of the verbs there, how active that sentence is. We have a Father who sees us, has compassion on us, runs to us, embraces us, and kisses us. We are children of our perfect and gracious heavenly Father. He rejoices with us when our fathers love us and care for us well. He laments alongside us when our fathers wound and hurt us. He weeps with us when we lose our fathers far too early. We have a heavenly Father who loves us, his children, and runs to us with mercy, grace, and love.
I pray that you feel the embrace of the Father today and every day.