Sunday, 17 June 2007

A Father’s Day Sermon Outline

 Peter Kreeft, Fundamentals of the Faith
Unfortunately, as GK Chesterton says, it is . . . true that "there is only one unanswerable argument against Christianity: Christians." Asked to write a letter to the London Times on "What's wrong with the world," Chesterton wrote the world's shortest letter:

Dear Sirs:
     I am.
Yours Truly, 
GK Chesterton
I stand before you as a far from perfect father and a far from perfect son. But I know and love a good and perfect Father and I also know and love a good and perfect Son.

Father? The term has been rather beleaguered lately.

Peter Kreeft:
Father is the word Jesus consistently used for God, and he did not choose his words carelessly . . . Father connotes both security and challenge. A good father says George MacDonald, is "easy to please but hard to satisfy." . . . He is terribly tender and terribly demanding, terribly loving and terribly stern, terribly soft and terribly hard. He is the two things every girl dreams of in her ideal man: strong and gentle . . . how hard it is for us to combine those two attributes, to be gentle without being weak and strong without being harsh. 194
This is no slight on women. The Mother of God was a woman; the Father of God was not a man. Furthermore, God is masculine because we are all feminine to him, as the mystics say. He impregnates our souls with his life. 195
God is our model, then. The Father of all fathers, the Father of all.

Seven things a good FATHER does...

1. Mal 4.6 A good Father has a HEART for his children

2. John 5.20 A good Father LOVES (+John 16.27)

The word "Father" appears in John 113 of the 250 times it appears in the gospels.

Kreeft:
The more we love someone, the more our love goes beyond kindness. . . . We are kind to strangers but demanding of those we love. If a stranger informed you that he was a drug addict, you probably try to reason with him in a kind and gentle way; but if your son of daughter said that to you, you would probably do a lot of shouting and screaming.
Grandfathers are kind; fathers are loving; grandfathers say, "Run along and have a good time;" fathers say, "But don't do this or that." Grandfathers are compassionate, fathers are passionate. God is never once called our grandfather, much as we would prefer that to the inconveniently close, demanding, intimate Father who loves us." 183
and who's love
Is that of a father, not a grandfather: demanding and intense and intimate. 195
3. John 5.20 A good Father TEACHES his children

4. John 6.32-35 A good Father FEEDS his family
     a. physically
     b. Spiritually
     c. Generously (James 1.5)

5. John 6.44 A good Father DRAWS his family to Jesus - gets his family CONNECTED to Jesus
     a. For example, the Official (John 4.46-54)

6. John 14.31 A good Father exercises AUTHORITY - COMMANDS occasionally

7. John 15.1 A good Father is a VINEGROWER (discipline)