This Sunday will be a special day for an important group of people in our society. It is Father’s Day. This means that hopefully fathers up and down the country will receive some appreciation for all the work that they do for their children – whatever age they may be. Fathers might receive a present or a card in recognition of the important part that they have played and that they will continue to play, in their children’s lives.
Of course sadly not all fathers will be feeling quite so good on that day, especially if they have, for whatever reason, become estranged from their children. However having a designated day for Fathers, might offer an opportunity for some estranged parents and children to consider a possible reconciliation. Perhaps a phone call or a word like ‘sorry’ might be all that it takes to get a fractured relationship back on track.
In the Old Testament there are many stories told of the relationships between fathers and sons. But sadly not all of them were particularly happy ones. One of the main problems arose when fathers favoured one of their sons over the others. Jealousy inevitably entered the picture in these circumstances with sad consequences. Sometimes, thankfully these problems were overcome eventually.
The ‘father figure’ was a very important person in the time of Jesus and he encouraged his followers to think of God as being everyone’s Heavenly Father. Jesus said that God is the best Father possible. He is interested in and he looks after all his children. He accepts them for who they are. He wants them all to have the best life that they could possibly have. And he is prepared to forgive them when they get things wrong, if they seek that forgiveness from him.