"He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm,
and carry them close to his heart, and shall gently lead those that are with young." Isaiah 40:11

Monday, July 12, 2010

Father's Day - by David

Before I write about Father's Day, I want to say "THANK YOU" to all of you who keep up with us via this blog.  You've been a huge encouragement to me, and especially to Kendra.  Thank you! 

This Father's Day was, in all likelyhood, the only Father's Day I will spend with all three of my children.  Rachel is lying on my lap right now, and its almost too much to read the above sentence.  Needless to say, it was both sweet beyond words and very difficult. 

I preached that morning, and that was both sweet and difficult too.  We looked at what it means for us to confess that God is our father, and why if this is true he would not choose to heal Rachel - because we have no indication that He is.  We looked at some deeply counter cultural implications of our confession for our understanding of what health really is, for our understanding of personhood, and the value of persons.  If you would like to read the sermon, email me at pastor_at_abbeydale.org.  If you would like to hear the sermon, complete with crying and long pauses while I struggle to regain my composure (!!), go to http://www.abbeydale.org/, click on the "sermons" tab, and click on "listen" beside the June 20th sermon.

Here is a bit of the last part of it:
"If what it means to be human is not a certain level of achievement or ability, but rather to have a capacity for god – a responsiveness to God and receptivity to his Spirit – then that means that we who confess God as our Father must be the first to recognize those like Rachel as full persons, as deserving of love and respect as the most skilled and accomplished person we encounter. It means that those who are born with bodies that are broken and sick, those whose personalities cannot develop, whose intellects will never flourish – these are fully human because they are created and therefore have a capacity for God nevertheless...

The glory of God is a person fully alive. And that is Rachel as much or more so than the most skilled and accomplished person on the earth, because as a created being she too has a capacity for God. Her worth is related to her being, not her functional utility. And we need to learn from her and others like her, who have nothing to offer in terms of skills or accomplishments, who have “only” their capacity for God. I want to conclude with this. If God is our Father, he is a Father who has a special heart for the poor, the vulnerable, the weak members of human society – not because these need the most help, though they may, but because they teach us what it means to be fully human, to have a capacity for God. Power and talent and achievement are more often distractions from full personhood than manifestations of it. Rachel is teaching us what it means to be fully human.



Brenda Funk said...

Amen and amen! As you have reminded me sometimes -- 'All shall be well and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.' So we live in anticipation of that with peace in the often troubled present. Bless you all. You are much in my heart and prayers.

Anonymous said...

beautifully written.

fawne said...

thank you! thank you! thank you for those beautiful life changing words. amen a million times over.
what a blessing and challenge to hear truth spoken. it brought a leap of joy to my heart and tears to my eyes. oh that all would understand this truth...so simple yet profound.
thank you both for sharing what you're learning. i love hearing.
we continue to pray for you guys continually.

Anonymous said...

Hey Babe! Great post:) You can be a guest writer on this blog anytime! Kendra

Kathy and Carl said...

I've been impacted by this concept of truly being human is our capacity for God, and not all our accomplishments and talents. Thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures as well. I agree with Kendra, you can write here anytime!