June 17, 2020

Father’s Day

The above picture is from 2004. My daughter, Luna, is reading her Bible to her baby brother, Towah. Over the years, I find moments like these more pleasing as a father than watching them win a competition, seeing them bring home a passing report card, or hearing others praise them for whatever gifts or talents they have. My longing and hope for my children is that all of their lives they will have the hounding faith that God exists and that He rewards those who diligently seek Him. I say “hounding” faith because that was my experience. No matter what I did or where I went in life, I could not shake the belief in God’s existence and that He wanted me to know Him. And now all of my life rotates like a solar system around the central love of God.

The role of a father is to guard, guide, and grow the next generation. We are keepers in that we guard them, not like prison guards but like shepherds that lead their flocks to safety and green fields. We are cultivators in that we compassionately invest our energy, wisdom, and resources in them, helping them to be healthy and grow. When fathers look at children, we love them right where they are with a deep moving love. Whether they’re chunky newborns, feisty four-year-olds, or angsty teens, fathers love them in the present. But fathers also remain in a realm of hope and forward thinking. We envision what their healthy, strong, mature future could look like, and we pray and encourage them towards adulthood. Like our heavenly Father we move from carrying the children, to leading the children, to walking beside the children, to working in trusted partnership together.

Have you ever thought about our resurrected bodies. Our resurrected bodies will be perfect, strong, inexhaustible, ageless, completely without decay. That means that all of us will physically be at our perfect state of growth. There won’t be a single person who is physically immature or over-mature. Childhood is meant to be a passing phase as we all move toward perfect maturity. It’s a wonderful and brief period in this natural world, but every good father has the goal of seeing their children become good adults.

With all of the things going on in the world, don’t forget that Sunday, June 21, has been set aside to honor fathers, both natural and spiritual. Give appreciation and encouragement to the men that God has brought into your life, who (though imperfect and highly fallible) have desired to see your good and have given whatever little they’ve had for you. Each father is different in what he has to give and how he gives it, and each father is different in his ability to express and receive compassion. But we don’t honor them because they’re flawless, or really even because they’ve earned or deserve honor. We honor them because God says if we honor them we’ll have a long, blessed life.

On Sunday we’re meeting at 10am in the Nothrop’s back yard. As long as Sundays stay between 75 and 94 degrees (which they miraculously have so far) and it’s not storming, we plan to continue meeting as we have the past few weeks. These have been wonderful times of worship and ministry in the beautiful green grass under the tall leafy trees. We’re working out final details on a new meeting space hopefully starting in July. I’ll let you know more about that as soon as we’ve nailed down the details.

His love is better than life!

Matt Neese
daily reading.001
  • 6/17 Deuteronomy 16, Psalm 19, I Chronicles 18, Acts 2:14-47
  • 6/18 Deuteronomy 17, Psalm 20, I Chronicles 19, Acts 3
  • 6/19 Deuteronomy 18, Psalm 21, I Chronicles 20, Acts 4:1-22
  • 6/20 Deuteronomy 19, Psalm 22, I Chronicles 21, Acts 4:23-37
  • 6/21 Deuteronomy 20, Psalm 23, I Chronicles 22, Acts 5:1-16
  • 6/22 Deuteronomy 21, Psalm 24, I Chronicles 23, Acts 5:17-42
  • 6/23 Deuteronomy 22, Psalm 25, I Chronicles 24, Acts 6
  • 6/24 Deuteronomy 23, Psalm 26, I Chronicles 25, Acts 7:1-19

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