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Communion (1995 Series)

The Father's Compassion

Scheduled for June 15

(Psa 103:13 NIV)  As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;


Most of us approach Father’s Day with one question in mind:  what do we get dad for Father’s Day?  The stores are filled with some of the strangest junk, all labeled with the phrase, “Perfect for Dad!”  It’s particularly difficult for me, for a couple of reasons:

·         My dad is 80 years old, and as for material things, it’s difficult to get him something that doesn’t fit in the category of “one more thing to dust.”  He’s getting rid of those.

·         He’s also the most intimidating person I know.  He was a company commander in the Army for many years;  his troops called him “The Bear.”  Enough Said!


In such a man, however, there is a gentleness that comes through strength.  This is a man who looks back and tells his stories not to prove how great he is but rather for a good laugh.  It is this immense strength, clothed in love and gentleness, that I admire in the man.


More than that, my Father is a giving man.  As I write this, I am looking for a new job, and not by my choice.  80 years old, retired, his son pushing 50, and he still takes me aside and says, “Now don’t get yourself in financial difficulties.  Remember we’re here - and I’ve been where you are..”  He understands my need to be the breadwinner (none better);  he also understands how difficult life can be, and asks for the privilege of helping.


Our heavenly father has compassion on us, just like that.  By the grace of the Incarnation, he understands where we are.  By his great love, he has mercy on us:

(Rom 5:8 NIV)  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.


So here it is Father’s Day.  What kind of a gift should we bring to this compassionate heavenly Father of ours?  Fortunately, he’s told us what he wants:


(Mat 9:13 NIV)  But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."  (The quotation is Hosea 6:6).


The greatest gift a son can give his Father is to be an imitator of his Father.  Our heavenly Father is merciful to us;  He desires us to be merciful to each other.  As we approach Communion, let us remember that it is the repeated symbol of the ultimate expression of God’s mercy to us:  Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.  He has been merciful to us to the fullest measure possible.  Let us therefore examine ourselves, and ask:  am I giving my Father what he desires most?


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