Sunday, June 21, 2015

Father's Day and Church

How will your church celebrate Father's Day?  It's a secular holiday, like Mother's Day, but I bet it makes its way into our worship services.

After all, many of our churches use Father language when discussing God.  It might seem natural to celebrate fathers of all sorts.

Those of us who think about such things realize the hazards with that approach.  We haven't all had good fathers, after all.  Many of us haven't had dads at all.  Or maybe we've lost our fathers.

Maybe it's a good day to think about whether or not it's helpful to see God as a parent of either gender.  I've written a piece at the Living Lutheran site that explores these ideas.

Here are some quotes to whet your appetite:

"I grew up in the 1970s and saw plenty of wrecked families. I've always wondered how people who come out of those families, especially those with absent or abusive fathers, react to the idea of God as a father."

"Many of the fathers I know today are much more involved in the lives of their children than fathers of past generations were. They change diapers; they cook meals; they're part of the car pool; they coach teams. What if we viewed God as someone who packed our lunch for us? What if we saw God as soccer coach or the one who taught us to sail or program computers?"

"Perhaps it’s time to abandon the idea of God as parent. I much prefer the idea of God as partner. We don’t have to be equal partners, although the word does imply a striving toward balance. God can be the senior partner."

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