Father’s Day: a chance to celebrate the past and present or determine the future

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Every Father’s Day pastors must discern how to faithfully balance the focus of our gathered lives around God, Scripture and the needs of those in our faith community. People’s lives are deeply impacted by their experiences within family. A good spiritual director is always sensitive to the life shaping experiences of those they are called to pastor. As I pause to prayerfully listen for the most important message to address in the space where Scripture and soul meet, I am reminded of Paul’s message to the Christians in Thessalonica and how father’s could be helped by what he says:

“We didn’t come seeking respect from people — not from you or anyone else — although we could have leveraged our position as emissaries of the Anointed One, the Liberating King. 

Instead, we proved to be gentle among you, like a nursing mother caring for her own children. We were so taken by you that we not only eagerly shared with you God’s good news, but we also shared with you our own lives. That’s how much you’ve come to mean to us.
Don’t you remember, my brothers and sisters, how hard we worked and struggled? We worked day and night so that we wouldn’t be a burden to any of you and so that we could continue to proclaim to you the good news of God. Both you and God can confirm how well we treated the believers: we were always holy, just, and blameless. 

As you know, we comforted and consoled each of you as a father soothes his own children, encouraging you to live lives worthy of God — of the One calling you into His own kingdom and into His glory.” (1 Thessalonians 2:6-12/The Voice Translation)

There are a few phrases throughout this passage that I think fathers need to reflect upon and families could celebrate:

  • We didn’t come seeking respect…
  • We proved to be gentle… like a nursing mother…
  • We were so taken by you…
  • Eagerly shared with you God’s good news…
  • Shared with you our own lives…
  • Don’t you remember…how hard we worked and struggled?
  • We worked day and night…
  • We were always holy, just, and blameless…
  • We comforted and consoled each of you…
  • Encouraging you to live lives worthy of God…
These sentences probably touch many emotional and conflicting cords within hearts and minds. For some the words sound like an empty gong being struck, exposing the hollowness of one’s own failure or experience, with fatherhood. For others, they flood the heart with ache, memory, joy and deep appreciation and love. For many, they prick the conscience and point towards a more engaged, attentive and approachable path of parenting.

We must remember, no matter our story with fathers, be it, glory or gory, the future is still unwritten. We have the freedom to choose paths and patterns in family and parenting that reflect or redirect those we love towards the good of what was or the good of what can be.

This Father’s Day celebrate or determine how future Father’s Day’s will be remembered by those you love.
Eric Blauer

About Eric Blauer

I am Frederick Christian Blauer IV, but I go by Eric, it sounds less like a megalomaniac but still hints at my Scandinavian destiny of coastal conquest and ultimate rule. I have accumulated a fair number of titles: son, brother, husband, father, pastor, writer, artist and a few other more colorful titles by my fanged fans. I am a lover of story be it heard, read or watched in all beauty, gory or glory. I write and speak as an exorcist or poltergeist, splashing holy water, spilling wine and breaking bread between the apocalypse and a sleeping baby. I am possessed by too many words and they get driven out like wild pigs and into the waters of my blog at www.fcb4.tumblr.com. I work as a pastor at Jacob's Well Church (www.jacobswellspokane.com) across the tracks on 'that' side of town. I follow Christ in East Central Spokane among saints, sinners, angels, demons, crime, condoms, chaos, beauty, goodness and powerful weakness. I have more questions than answers, grey hairs than brown, fat than muscle, fire than fireplace and experience more love from my wife, family and friends than a man should be blessed with in one lifetime.

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