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A Complicated Father’s Day Prayer

It is a simple truth that Mother’s Day and Father’s Day can be challenging whether it is a difficult relationship with your parent(s)/child(ren), your unfulfilled desire to be a parent, orĀ  your lack of desire to be a parent and the associated societal pressure.

Although I thank all men and women for their parenting of humans and fur-babies through traditional parenting, nieces/nephews, teaching, etc., there are not many resources that represent the limitless reality of these relationships.

Then, a couple of years ago a friend/colleague shared “A Complicated Mother’s Day Prayer” as her Facebook status. I have used it each Mother’s Day since, because it essentially speaks to the story of each person…

BUT, I have not found a similar source for Father’s Day and thus I re-wrote it.

I want you to know that I’m praying for you if you are like Zechariah, struggling with infertility or a miscarriage.

I want you to know that I am praying for you if you are like Joachim, counting the men among your family and friends who year by year and month by month become fathers, while you wait.

I want you to know that I am praying for you if you are like King David, and have known the bitter sting of a child’s death.

I want you to know that I am praying for you if you are like King Solomon, and your father has died.

I want you to know that I am praying for you if your relationship with your father was marked by trauma, abuse, or abandonment, or he just couldn’t parent you the way you needed.

I want you to know that I am praying for you if you’ve been like Jesse (father of King David) and put a child up for adoption, trusting another family to love your child into adulthood.

I want you to know that I am praying for you if you’ve been like Joseph, called to love children who are not yours by birth (and thus the father who brought that child into your life, even if its complicated).

I want you to know that I am praying for you if you, like many, are watching or have watched your father age, and disappear into the long goodbye of dementia.

I want you to know that I am praying for you if you are breathlessly awaiting the birth of your first child.

I want you to know that I am praying for you if your children have turned away from you, painfully closing the door on relationship, leaving you holding your broken heart in your hands, and now are fathering alone.

I want you to know that I am praying for you if fatherhood is your greatest joy and toughest struggle all rolled into one.

I want you to know that I am praying for you if you are watching or have watched your child battle substance abuse, a public legal situation, mental illness, or another situation which you can merely watch unfold.

I want you to know that I am praying for you if you, like so many men before you, do not wish to be a father, are not married, or in so many ways do not fit into societal norms.

I want you to know that I am praying for you if you see yourself reflected in all, a few, or none of these stories.

This father’s day, wherever and whoever you are, we walk with you. You are loved. You are seen. You are worthy. And may you know the deep love without end of our big, wild, beautiful God who is the very best example of a parent that we know. Amen.

Credit to Amy Young for original piece.
Credit to Heidi Carrington Heath for “Mother” adaptation.

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Posted by on June 13, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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True Sabbath

I was amused as I prepared for this morning, because it can be challenging for a Christian pastor to preach about Sunday as Sabbath or a day of rest. It is the primary and most visible workday of our week, but we also had the Indiana-Kentucky Synod Assembly this week.

The Sabbath, thankfully, is not restricted to a certain calendar day of the week; however, we are still called to take a day of sabbath (rest) weekly.

  • The Israelites and modern Jewish adherents observe Friday (sundown) until Saturday (sundown) as Sabbath.
  • Muslim adherents observe Friday as Sabbath.
  • Christian adherents tend to observe Sunday as Sabbath.

Thus, I was amused as I prepared because Saturday is often my sabbath and the Indiana-Kentucky Synod Assembly was Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

Thus, the Sunday a year that sabbath rest is our scriptural focus there was no sabbath rest at hand for me. I wonder if other clergy found it amusing as well.

We, as people of faith, have this mandate or commandment to ‘take a weekly day of rest’, BUT how many of us hold to it?

I literally see two hands. It is interesting to note, it is the youngest among us who are receiving their sabbath rest. (These were ages 3 and 7).

As I pondered our lack of sabbath rest, a song came to mind. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 5, 2018 in Sermons, Uncategorized

 

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