(By Rachel Joyce)
Father’s Day was first celebrated in 1910 in Spokane, Washington. Sonora Smart Dodd had reached out to her home church to commemorate this day in recognition of fathers because she wanted to honor her own father, William Jackson Smart, a civil war veteran.
Sonora’s mother had died giving birth, to her and it was William who had raised the six children. So out of love for her father, Sonora wanted to set aside a day of the year to celebrate what a wonderful father he was.
I hope you have a wonderful father, too, one who cherishes you like God the Father does. But perhaps you don’t. Some fathers are aloof, some absent, some even abusive.
If your relationship (or lack of relationship) with your father has caused you pain, I am so sorry. You were made to be treasured.
Whether Father’s Day fills you with anticipation or dread, as Christians, we can rejoice that we have a Father whose love for us is immeasurable and unchanging. God’s Word describes Him as the Father of lights, the Father of mercies, and the Father of glory. In James 1:17, we read:
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
Every good thing we enjoy comes from our good Father, the Father of lights. He is the One who called the sun, moon, and stars into existence simply with His voice. Not only did He create the lights, He IS light. John wrote, “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5).
No shifting shadows of untrustworthiness or impurity. No. He is pure and holy, through and through. His commitment to love and care for us is steadfast and unwavering.
He is the “Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort” (2 Corinthians 1:3). In the original text, the word mercies is οἰκτιρμός which means compassion, the heart of compassion, mercies, longings, emotions.
Did you know that God’s heart longs for you? Your needs matter to Him (Matthew 6:30-34). He wants you to be with Him (John 17:24).
From cover to cover, His Word is filled with the truth of His love for you and His desire to have you enjoy closeness with Him. The psalmist expressed this, “My heart has heard you say, ‘Come and talk with me.’ And my heart responds, ‘LORD, I am coming’” (Psalm 27:8).
Have you heard Him calling you closer? Have you responded? This God who loves you is also the Father of glory (Ephesians 1:17).
Glory: splendor, magnificence, beauty, grace, and dignity; that which is completely worthy of praise, honor, and worship. This is the character of the One who loved you so much that He sent Jesus to the cross so He could make you His child.
This Father of glory and mercy and light is your Father. With tender compassion, He draws you close and whispers words of life into your ear. He will never leave you, never forsake you.
And He is longing for the day when you see Him with your very own eyes and rush into His arms as He welcomes you home at last.