6.21.15 in DiscipleChurch

Brooks Harrington_150DiscipleChurch Family and Friends:

This Sunday is Father’s Day. So this Sunday in DiscipleChurch I will be preaching a Father’s Day sermon.

I intend for us to have some fun with my sermon. For a change. I am going talk about the wisdom I have learned from my dad. And I will be inviting you to consider and remember the wisdom you have learned from your dad, and from any and every father figure who has ever graced your life. And, brothers, to consider the wisdom you may have imparted to a child.

There is a crisis in fatherhood in this culture.

When I was growing up, there was a very popular, situation comedy on television named “Father Knows Best.” You old folks remember it. It was about a family of four, Jim and Betty Anderson and their two teenaged children, Bud and Kathy. Jim sold insurance and Betty was a homemaker. They slept in twin beds. (Remember those shows?) The problems these two children had…well, by today’s standards, they amounted to nothing. But ‘ole Jim’ always “knew best.” Patient, understanding, firm when he had to be, flexible when he needed to be, always loving, and most of all, with the wisdom to know when to be any and all of these.

Nowadays, our culture too often isn’t “Father Knows Best.” It’s “Father Doesn’t Know His Children.” And they don’t know him.

You all know that I deal with terribly failed fathers, and mothers, every day in court.

But that’s not what this sermon will be about.

This Sunday, we are going remember, and appreciate, and give thanks to God, for our fathers and our father figures, for their wisdom as well as their love. We are going to consider how the wisdom of God underlies the wisdom of our fathers.

There is in our scripture, Old and New Testaments, what is called wisdom literature. Perhaps what springs first to your mind when you read that last sentence is the book of Proverbs. Indeed, the scripture I will be starting from Sunday is Proverbs 4: 

“Listen, children, to a Father’s instruction, and be attentive, that you may gain insight…Get wisdom; get insight; do not forget nor turn away from the words of my mouth. Do not forsake her, and she will keep you; love her and she will guard you.”

Wisdom is seen as “she,” a feminine side of God, an eternal gift of God to us, imparted to us by our fathers, and by our mothers, the road to true happiness and meaningful success.

Wisdom sayings are sprinkled throughout our scripture. For instance, Jesus is seen as a teacher of wisdom. Just one example of that is his saying in the Sermon on the Mount at Matthew 7: “Everyone who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.” That statement transforms Jesus’ entire Great Sermon into Wisdom sayings.

And short, pithy sayings tend to be so well remembered, and to have so much lasting impact.

Thus, the wisdom of fathers and mothers is just one more manifestation of the grace of God.

I have already had so much fun with this sermon. And it will be all the more fun for me that my 96 year old dad will be there. And my son-in-law, who will soon be a father for the first time and is, to say the least, PUMPED about becoming a father for the first time.

I invite you to consider, between now and then, the wisdom of your fathers and father figures. I invite you to consider, brothers, the wisdom you may have imparted to your children and to those whom you have been a father figure. And for you younger men, the wisdom you are imparting now or want to impart. By word and deed. In the process, we will be considering what makes a father…a dad. And remember, Jesus didn’t teach is to call God “Father.” The actual word he taught us was “Abba,” which was Aramaic for…”Daddy.”

Let’s have some fun Sunday. Let’s remember. Let’s laugh and shed a tear or two. Let’s give thanks. Bring your families.

Your brother,

Brooks

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