Just as Miss Anna Jarvis is credited for giving "birth" to "Mothers Day", Mrs. Sonora Smart Dodd is credited for triggering an action that led to Father's Day becoming a U.S. national holiday.
Her story began as she sat
listening to a Mother's Day sermon in 1909. Mrs. Dodd thought that it
might be nice to honor fathers as well. Her father, William Smart, had
raised his six children alone on his farm in Washington after his wife
died giving birth to their sixth child. Mrs. Dodd proposed to the
Spokane Ministerial Association and the YMCA that they celebrate a
"Father's day." She chose the 5th of June because it was her father's
birthday. The idea received strong support,
but the good ministers of Spokane asked that the day be changed to give
them extra time to prepare sermons on the unexplored subject of fathers.
The first Father's Day in Spokane, Washington, was observed on June
19, 1910 (the third Sunday in June), and became an annual, albeit not "official"
event there. After many twists and turns,
"Father's Day" finally got
its official seal of approval in 1972 (when President Richard Nixon was president).
On careful scrutiny of the Scriptures, a discerning Bible student would discover that not until Jesus the Saviour started
addressing the Almighty as the Heavenly Father in New Testament was the word "Father" used so extensively in connection with the
Almighty-Devotee relationship. In fact, the Greek word
"Pater", meaning Father, is repeated about 200
times in the New Testament. Meanwhile,
in all of
the Old Testament, the word
"Father" is only used a few times, 15
according to Bibilcal scholars, to describe God. At this point, it would be no
exaggeration to say that the Saviour, by His advent,
redefined the God-Man relationship.
With the World bracing
itself to celebrate Father's day on the 17th
of June, yours truly is
inspired to write this series of 3 parts to
bring out the similarities between our Heavenly Father and
our wonderful earthly fathers,
while ever focusing on our response to
their great love.
In the same way our
fathers play a role in bringing us to life, our Heavenly Father, through His revitalizing Spirit,
also gives us supernaturally
a brand new life
the moment we place our trust in the
redemption work of the cross that was completed by the Saviour to save us
from our sins. In fact, in the matter of a
Christian's ''sonship" and his new-found inclination towards
"holiness", the Greek word used for "seed"
in 1 John 3:9 ("No one who is born of God will
continue to sin, because God's seed remains in them; they cannot
go on sinning, because they have been born of God. NIV) is "sperma",
word for "sperm" in English.
(facial and emotional) are bound to be reflected in his
offspring (eg...Adam and Seth- Gen
5:3). Ditto with a new Christian. If holiness is
intrinsic to our Heavenly Father, His children, too,
holiness ("Imitate God, therefore, in everything you
do, because you are his dear children." Eph
5:1 NLT), which is all about being "separate" from the
Cor 6:17-18). Here "separation" doesn't mean
"isolation" in the manner of Saffron-clad Sadhus confining
themselves to snow-clad Himalayas. Rather,
it is all about not being tainted by the carnal world
despite the fact that we live in it:
"Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father
means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and
refusing to let the world corrupt you." (James
No earthly father would allow any
danger to befall his beloved children. Our Heavenly Father would also guard us under His protective wings (John
10:28-29) whatever be the enticement of the flesh,
the world or the Devil. Power is always granted from within to
triumph over the inevitable spiritual dangers without ("But
you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a
victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you
is greater than the spirit who lives in the world."
John 4:4 NLT).
Which Earthly Father doesn't
delight in giving the best of the materially useful things to
his children? Our Heavenly Father doesn't retract from
giving His best to us either, in order
for us to have a perfectly fulfilling
Tim 6:17). With the perpetual joy of the Holy Spirit,
which He places us in our heart at the point of regeneration,
every human activity, even the mundane ones, would now seem
enjoyable. Yes, thanks to Jesus' redemptive
work on the cross,
God's children today enjoy an "abundant life" ("The
thief's purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is
to give them a rich and satisfying life."
Father, first of all we are full of gratitude to address You thus
because of the Redemptive work completed by Your Son on the Cross.
Enable us to live a life worthy of our Sonship. In Jesus'
An unworthy servant
J and SM Ministries
(To access the entire "ABBA, Father!" mini-series, please