For fathers, for children of fathers

Never mind “Faith of Our Fathers.” Below is a hymn for fathers, for those who wish they were fathers. It is a hymn for the children of fathers and for the fatherless and for those who feel emptiness instead of a father’s love. It is the pleading offer from God the Father to look at His Son and be His Child. To quench your thirst in the water that He wants you to drink. It is the voice of the open heart of God, seeking to heal, to hold, to be a father. For anyone who finds Father’s Day hard, or any other day for that matter, for those adore God because of their fathers or who worship God in spite of their fathers, the invitation to drink this life giving water knows no categorical qualifications. This is a hymn for the father who pursues faith and works to cultivate redemptive grace throughout his home.

Never mind the faith of our fathers (or the lack of faith in some fathers.) Their faith, while a valuable legacy, cannot quench our thirst. While our heritage may be in pleasant places, each of us must come to the waters. The father who had no faith does not negate his child’s ability to take this healing offer. No one is marred beyond the repair that our Father has ability to unmangle. Cynicism is never more powerful than grace.

And so we read these words and absorb them. We sit equal to each other, a needy people. We are each given the offer to be a child of a Father, part of a family, fully whole. Come and drink deeply.

 

Come to the Waters
James Montgomery Boice

Come to the waters, whoever is thirsty; drink from the Fountain that never runs dry. Jesus, the Living One, offers you mercy, life more abundant in boundless supply.

Come to the River that flows through the city, forth from the throne of the Father and Son. Jesus the Savior says, “Come and drink deeply.” Drink from the pure, inexhaustible One.

Come to the Fountain without any money; buy what is given without any cost. Jesus, the gracious One, welcomes the weary; Jesus, the selfless One, died for the lost.

Come to the Well of unmerited favor; stretch out your hand; fill your cup to the brim. Jesus is such a compassionate Savior. Draw from the grace that flows freely from him.

Come to the Savior, the God of salvation. God has provided an end to sin’s strife. Why will you suffer the Law’s condemnation? Take the free gift of the water of life.

(http://www.reformedresources.org/music/hymns-for-a-modern-reformation-booklet/)

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The metaphorical Father

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“We have, then, various analogies by which we seek to interpret to ourselves the nature of God as it is known to us by experience. Sometimes we speak of Him as a king, and use metaphors drawn from that analogy. We talk, for instance, of His kingdom, laws, dominion, service and soldiers. Still more frequently, we speak of Him as a father, and think it quite legitimate to argue from the analogy of human fatherhood to the “fatherhood” of God. This particular “picture-thought” is one of which Christ was very fond, and it has stamped itself indelibly on the language of Christian worship and doctrine: “God the Father Almighty”, “like as a father pitieth his own children”, “your Father in Heaven careth for you”, “the children of God”, “the Son of God”, “as many as are led by the spirit of God are sons of God”, “I will arise and go to my father”, “Our Father which art in Heaven”. In books and sermons we express the relation between God and mankind in terms of human parenthood; we say that, just as a father is kind, careful, unselfish and forgiving in his dealings with his children, so is God in his dealings with men; that there is a true likeness of nature between God and man as between a father and his sons; and that because we are sons of one Father, we should look on all men as our brothers.

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When we use these expressions, we know perfectly well that they are metaphors and analogies; what is more, we know perfectly well where the metaphor begins and ends… Our own common sense assures us that the metaphor is intended to be drawn from the best kind of father acting within a certain limited sphere of behaviour, and is to be applied only to a well-defined number of the divine attributes.” – Dorothy Sayers, The Mind of the Maker

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