June brings warmer, longer days, summer vacation and Father’s Day. It’s a day to celebrate the role that God chose to identify with Himself, although no one really understood that God wanted us to see Him as our father until Jesus insisted that we follow Him in praying to Him in this way.
Moses was the first to describe God to us as our Father in Deuteronomy 1:31: “And in the wilderness. There you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place.” Although God always saw Himself as our Father, we could not see it until Christ showed this reality to us by coming to us as the Son of man and the Son of God. David wrote of God as Father in Psalm 103:13: “As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him.”
The religious were rightly reverent in acknowledging the holiness of God. To this day most Jewish people dare not even write out the name of God. Because they do not acknowledge Jesus as God’s Son, they do not understand what Moses and David wrote about God as Father. Jesus alone makes God understood to us. Through Jesus we understand God’s extreme love for mankind that He, the Father, would send His only Son to redeem us from our sin and death. Through Jesus we learn how to pray to God as our loving Father.
Even though Jesus gave us the pattern of prayer known as the Lord’s Prayer, which begins by calling God “Our Father,” we still lack the knowledge to recognize what a good Father we have in heaven. It is only through opening our hearts to all that Jesus wants to teach us that we are able to learn what Jesus alone can teach us. All things have been committed to me by my Father. “No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him” (Luke 10:22).
My own spiritual journey took on deeper understanding when I began to love God as my Father. I’m not sure why so many Christians resist this beautiful teaching and seminal example from Jesus. Perhaps it is one of the major reasons that Christians don’t live in the light of the promises that Jesus gives us in Scripture.
Father’s Day may be sad for those who had an unkind father or for those who have lost their father. It is a day to recognize the influence a father has on your life. I am fortunate to have a father I can look to for support, love and an example for living. That is how our heavenly Father is to us his adopted children. We will open our heart to new intimacy with God when we believe what Jesus showed us about how to really love God as our Father! No matter the reality of our relationship with our father on Father’s Day, we have a huge reason to celebrate if we claim what Jesus taught us about God as our Father.