The following responsive reading was printed in my church’s bulletin yesterday*:
One Voice: On this Father’s Day, we cherish the love of our fathers.
Many Voices: We thank you, God, for fathers who comfort and encourage.
One Voice: We thank you, God, for fathers who build character and inspire us to greatness.
Many Voices: We thank you, God, for fathers who teach morality and model decency.
One Voice: We thank you, God, for fathers who lovingly convince boys to become men.
Many Voices: We thank you, God, for brave fathers who have the courage to be fathers even when the going gets rough.
One Voice: We thank you, God, for fathers who are no longer with us but will always be in our hearts.
Many Voices: Most of all we thank you, God, for being our heavenly Father, for loving us so perfectly, and for setting the high standard of love, justice, and compassion that we aspire to.
One Voice: Lord, on this Father’s Day, we ask your blessing on all fathers.
All: May we be a church that encourages, challenges, and supports all fathers with your love.
Father’s Day is awkward for those of us whose fathers are not part of our lives, but yesterday in church, Pastor Suzanne indirectly reminded me that my Heavenly Father provided well for me through the years with surrogate fathers who met this high standard of love and compassion. Today, I am especially grateful for them. Here they are, listed in the order I met them.
My grandfather D.L. Willis
My uncle Darius Hinnant
Family friend Jim Thompson
English teacher John Lentz
My father-in-law Roger Raihala
I am also grateful for the father of my children, George, who makes sure our sons feel comforted, encouraged, built up, inspired, safe, and—most of all—loved.
What are you grateful for today?
*Source unknown. If you know it, please let me know so I can give proper credit.