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Proper 6

June 15, 2008

Proper 6                                       Trinity Lutheran Church
15 June 2008                              Murdock, NE

+ Jesu Juva +

Fourth Commandment:  Honor Your Father

Honor your father the commandment says.  That’s God’s command.  His Word. 

So we honor our fathers.  Fathers of our country.  Fathers in the faith.  And today, our biological fathers.

The commandment could have begun with the word “love” or “respect.”  But it doesn’t.  “Honor” is the word. 

Why “honor?”  Because parents, Moms and Dads, are God’s representatives on the earth.  Parents are God’s hands in the family.  God’s mouth.  God’s masks.  God gets His work done for you in the family through parents.  God creates life as He uses Mom and Dad in the family. 

The cheeseburgers and French fries don’t just fall from the sky you know.  The Nike shocks and Wrangler jeans don’t just appear from pixie dust.  Dad works.  Earns a paycheck.  Gets on line or goes to the store.  God is most pleased to give you what you need and more through your father.  God loves and takes care of you through Daddy.

Dad taught you to ride your bike.  Fixed the flat tire.  Taught you how to drive the four-wheeler and shoot the 12 gauge.  Dad took you fishing and hunting.  Put the fear of God in your first boyfriend – and the next – and the next.  Told you that he loved you.  And have you looked at Dad’s behind?  He’s forevermore got bleacher butt! Nervous at your graduation.  Cried at your wedding.  Proud as punch to be a grandfather.  And now he forevermore spoils the grandkids.  What joy God has given you in your life through your father.   

When you were born you didn’t know how to pray.  You didn’t know who Jesus was.  You couldn’t read the Bible stories.  So God provided.  Gave you a father.  With Mommy he brought you for Holy Baptism.  Made sure that the Triune Name was put on you and you were buried with Christ into His sin forgiving death.  Daddy taught you to fold your hands, close your eyes and pray.  The Lord’s Prayer.  Now I lay me down to sleep.  The Apostles’ Creed.  Read you the Bible stories at night.  And he probably fell asleep before you did.  Helped you memorize the Small Catechism so that you can receive the Lord’s Body and Blood for the forgiveness of your sins.  What gifts God gives you – all because you have a father.

Fatherhood is holy work.  God instituted it.  God uses it for your good.  Don’t ever let anyone mock you for being a father.  Don’t ever say in shame:  “I’m just a father.”  JUST A FATHER?  You’ve got to be kidding.  Lift you heads high Dads.  You are God’s instrument to do His work for your family. 

And so we honor our fathers as the commandment says.  Knowing and believing that God hides behind Daddy to give us good gifts. 

And fathers, that changes how you view fatherhood.  When I heard that the newsman and father Tim Russert died of a sudden heart attack at the age of 58, it puts things in perspective. Russert had just attended his son’s college graduation.  He was only given a few years with his son and family.  Four fathers tragically and unexpectedly lost their sons in the tornado at Little Sioux.  Fathers, every day is a gift.  We have been given a wife and a family to take care of.  To live sacrificially for.  Putting them and their needs first.  Not ourselves.

Where we have failed, and we have, and we will, let us confess our sins in the full and complete confidence that our heavenly Father forgives us for Christ’s sake.  So when you sin against your son, daughter, or wife, confess it to them.  Ask for forgiveness.  They’ll give it to you.  And the love of Christ will reign in your life and in your family.  The wounds of Jesus bring healing and reconciliation, not anger and hate.  The Blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin.  Jesus has redeemed fatherhood.  For fathers to put to good use.

Happy Father’s Day.  In the Name of Jesus.


From → "A" Sermons

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