Today we celebrate fathers – I think. I’m not sure I would call it celebrating. On Mother’s Day, the church is full with standing room only in the back. On Mother’s Day, pastors across America talk about treating our mothers with respect, and even give alter calls to unsaved children. On Mother’s Day, we wake Mom up with breakfast in bed, or nicely wrapped presents. On Mother’s Day.
But on Father’s Day – its a different story. Lunch at a BBQ restaurant and a tie are among the highlights. Then there is the church service. This morning at church, we had a guest speaker. His message was from Matthew chapter 5. Actually it was only verse 7 – “Blessed are the merciful…” His point – Fathers need to be merciful. The real kicker for the sermon was the illustration at the end – he told a story about a man that had his only daughter late in life. She was killed by a neighbors dog in a vicious attack right in front of her father. This was not a story that I wanted to hear about on Father’s Day. The point of the story was the mercy this now childless father showed the owner of the dog.
Another preacher I know preached “12 things fathers should do, IF they want their children to be delinquents.” I don’t think we could get away with that on Mother’s Day. Could you imagine a sermon titled, “Why it’s your fault that your children aren’t saved, Mom!” Don’t get me wrong – I’m sure those sermons – as well as the many others like them have value and purpose. I just don’t see them as celebrating Fathers.