Our church is between pastors at the moment, so what we have been doing is calling on the members of the church to give the sermons. A different person each week speaks. Even though it will be nice to have a pastor again, this is a very special time for us as a church because we get to hear from so many different people. I was asked to give the message yesterday, Father’s Day. Even though I sort of dreaded it in the weeks leading up to it and was pretty nervous, it turned out to be a very rewarding experience.
To really feel the amazement of what happens when you accept God as your father and thus pass from death to life, you have to see it not just as a transition from condemnation into acceptance, but as a transition out of bondage and destitution into the safety, certainty, and enjoyment of the family of God. This is what Paul was trying to express to his readers in Galations 4:1-7 when he says, “you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son then an heir.” I believe that this is what all humans desire at the core of their being. It’s why so many myths, fairy tales, and stories resonate so deeply, because they illustrate our heart’s true longing. Take Cinderella, probably the most famous and loved fairy tale of all. It’s about a girl who is being held basically as a slave to her evil stepmother and stepsisters, forced to do the most menial, humiliating, and laborious tasks. But then she is transformed and by the end of the story she has become the wife of the prince. Or there’s the story of the little orphan Annie. Annie is stuck all alone in a miserable orphanage run by the tyrannical Miss Hannigan, but she ends up being adopted by the powerful, rich, and caring Mr. Warbucks. Countless variations of these stories have been written or made into movies. We love them because that’s what we want to happen to us. But the good news is that it has! The story of God and his children is the greatest fairy tale there is, except that it’s true.
Here is the complete manuscript if you’re interested, and I will post the video on that page soon.